Eurostat released the European Union’s latest unemployment statistics at the end of last week, and they showed an overall rate of 12% in December 2013, compared to 11.9% in December 2012.
Encouraging GDP figures were released this week, showing that growth in the final quarter of 2013 was 0.7% on the previous quarter, and annual growth for 2013 was 1.9%.
The monthly labour market statistics brought further good news this week as the unemployment rate fell to 7.1% in the three months leading up to November 2013.
The CPI measure of inflation hit the Bank of England’s 2% target this week for the first time since November 2009.
A lot has been happening in the European bond yield markets this week, as a recent (successful) sale of bonds by the Irish government gave a boost to borrowing rates across Europe, and the gap between UK and German bond yields increased to the largest it has been since 2005.
The Office for National Statistics’ annual household spending report came out last week, so this week’s chart is on how household spending has changed over the past decade (just in time for Christmas).