Saturday, 8 January 2011

US employment and eurozone GDP reports disappoint

The first week of the year ended on a rather disappointing note as far as economic reports are concerned.

In the US, Bloomberg reports that the economy added fewer jobs than expected in December.

Employers in the U.S. added fewer jobs than forecast in December, confirming Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s view that it will take years for the labor market to heal.

Payrolls increased 103,000, compared with the median forecast of 150,000 in a Bloomberg News survey, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. Employment the prior two months rose more than initially estimated. The jobless rate fell to 9.4 percent, partly reflecting a shrinking workforce...

November employment rose 71,000, more than an initially reported gain of 39,000. Payrolls in November and October combined were 70,000 more than previously estimated.

In Europe, Bloomberg reports that the eurozone economy expanded less than previously estimated in the third quarter.

Gross domestic product in the euro region rose 0.3 percent from the second quarter instead of 0.4 percent reported on Dec. 2, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. Investment was revised from being unchanged to a 0.3 percent decline. A separate report showed the jobless rate held at 10.1 percent in November when adjusted for seasonal swings, the highest in more than 12 years.

Even the euro area's strongest economy, Germany, failed to keep up with expectations. German industrial production fell 0.7 percent in November while retail sales fell 2.4 percent. Exports did manage to grow 0.5 percent in November, but this was less than the 1 percent expected by economists.

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