Pressure on the European Central Bank to introduce deflation battling measures was eased on Friday after a report showed that the Eurozone’s inflation rate beat economist forecasts by rising more than expected in February.
The Euro surged against its peers after the news broke that the regions inflation rate rose to 0.8%, the same pace seen in the previous two months and beat economist expectations for a fall to 0.7%. Against the Pound the Euro climbed to its highest level in four-days and against the US Dollar it soared to its highest level of the year so far.
Adding to investor sentiment was the release of the Eurozone’s unemployment data which whilst remaining close to a record high showed signs of stabilisation. According to the Luxembourg based EU Statistics Office the jobless rate in the 18 member Eurozone stabilised at 12%.
Unemployment in Italy reached a new record high of 12.9% in December and is the highest figure since records began in 1977.
Beneath the headline 12.0% figure for Eurozone unemployment, grim as it is, are shocking figures on joblessness among the young. In Greece, 59% of under-25’s are out of work and in Spain the figure is 54.6%. The total European figure is 23.4% and in the UK it’s 20%.
The Euro was supported earlier in the session by a report out of Germany which showed that retail sales climbed by 2.5% last month, beating expectations for a rise of 1%. In contrast Greece reported a sharp 6% decline in sales over the same period, highlighting just how unbalanced the Eurozone economy is.
Euro (EUR) Exchange Rates
[table width=”100%” colwidth=”50|50|50|50|50″ colalign=”left|left|left|left|left”]
Currency, ,Currency,Rate ,
Euro,,US Dollar,1.3792 ,
Euro,,British Pound,0.8428 ,
Euro,,Australian Dollar,1.5395 ,
Euro,,Canadian Dollar,1.5351 ,
British Pound,,Euro,1.2118 ,