The Eurozone group of 18 economies seems on the verge of falling into its third recession in six years. Given the weakness of the recoveries from the last two recessions, it may be more appropriate to refer to one `triple-dip recession.` The German and Italian economies contracted in the second quarter, and the French economy was stagnant. Growth in the Eurozone as a whole was close to zero in the second quarter, with the first quarter not much stronger.
The strong pace of UK house price growth cooled off in August, with average prices rising by 0.1% amid signs that more homes are coming on to the market, according to the Halifax (pdf).
The average price of Â186,270 was up 9.7% on a year earlier, representing a slowdown on the seven-year high of 10.2% recorded in July. The lender said there were `tentative signs` that a better balance between demand and supply might be emerging which, if sustained, would help to dampen the pace of price growth.
Unemployment decreased in Germany (from 5.0 to 4.9 percent), the Netherlands (from 6.8 to 6.7 percent) and Sweden (from 7.9 to 7.7 percent), but increased in France (from 9.8 to 9.9 percent) and Italy (from 12.5 to 12.7 percent).
"The variation in recent unemployment trends throughout Europe ` remaining elevated and increasing in France and Italy while gradually coming down in the Netherlands and Sweden ` highlights the mixed paths toward labor market recovery in the region," said Elizabeth Crofoot, Senior Economist with the International Labor Comparisons program at The Conference Board. "Contrary to most other European markets, Germany shows signs of existing labor market shortages given an overall upward trend in employment and historically low and declining unemployment rates, dipping below 5 percent for the first time since unification in 1991."
UK house prices level off after 18 months of consecutive rises
House-price growth has stalled for the first time in more than 18 months as increasing numbers of would-be buyers worry about warnings of a property price bubble and a looming rise in interest rates, according to the analysts Hometrack.
Prices did not change across England and Wales between August and September, Hometrack said on Friday. It is the first time that property values have not gone up since January last year.