EU Jobless Rate Steady While Energy Prices Spark Inflation

(CN) – The European Union’s statistics agency said Thursday that the jobless rate held steady in June, but its estimate of annual inflation for the 19-stat eurozone will tick up slightly in August.

Eurostat reported the unemployment rate for the full European Union remained at 7.7 percent in June, holding at its lowest level since December 2008 and nearly 1 percent less than in June 2016.

The unemployment rate for the eurozone also held steady at 9.1 percent in June and the lowest level in February 2009.

Member states with the lowest jobless rates include the Czech Republic, Germany and Malta. Greece, Spain and Italy have the highest unemployment rates, although the agency noted Spain saw marked improvement in June compared with the previous year.

Meanwhile, Eurostat estimated inflation will rise to 1.5 percent in August, up from 1.3 percent in July. A sharp spike in energy prices spurred the increase while prices in all other sectors remained stable compared with July, the agency said.

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