After yesterdays positive manufacturing PMI data release you could have been fooled into thinking that things in the Eurozone were finally starting to pick up and that the agonisingly slow and much vaunted recovery was about to take off. Alas today data out of Spain revealed just how far the region has to come.
According to a report released by the Spanish Employment Ministry, the number of unemployed people in the struggling country surged in January, fuelling concerns over the outlook for the nation’s economy. The number of people out of work increased by a seasonally adjusted figure of 113,100 last month, far off economist expectations for a decline of 21,000. The data also reversed the positive figure seen in December as staff hired for the Christmas holidays was laid off.
Remarkably several news outlets hailed the data as positive suggesting that the market is grasping at straws and desperate to take the positives out of even negative data. With some saying that because the jobless claims rise was the slowest pace of any month since 2007.
“The January figures were significantly better than the average of previous years, they confirm the trend of stabilisation of the labour market that began in May 2012,” she said in a statement,” said Engracia Hidalgo, the state secretary for employment and who was desperate to put a positive spin on the data.
Spain still has the second-highest unemployment rate in Europe, at 26% of the workforce, just behind Greece’s.
All eyes will now be focused on Italy and its inflation data due for release later in the session.
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,1.3511 ,
Euro,,British Pound,0.8294 ,
Euro,,Australian Dollar,1.5185 ,
Euro,,Canadian Dollar,1.5008 ,