Euro Area Unemployment Surges
The unemployment rate of the eurozone reached 10.8% in February, up from 10.0% a year ago according to EuroStat. Unlike the in United States, the trend is in the wrong direction. The lowest rates were in Germany (5.7%) and the Netherlands (4.9%), as would be expected. Also expected were the horrendous rates in Spain (23.6%) and Greece (21.0%). These two figures were up sharply from a year ago.
It remains impossible to believe that the economies of Spain and Greece can recover. It is entirely possible that they will get worse and that gross domestic product will plunge at a more rapid rate than last year. The European Union’s new rescue package, set at more than $1 trillion dollars, is to help bailout countries with debt problems. None of it is meant to go to stimulus — which may be the only hope for the region’s most troubled economies.