Thursday, August 18, 2011

Statistical Notes Thursday August 18

-The British emplyment rate was unchanged at 70.7% in April-June compared to the previous 3-month period. A big increase in the number of people on unemployment benefits in July followed by increases in previous months suggests that labor market conditions have worsened since.

Nominal wages increased at a somewhat faster rate, but at 2.6% it is still way below the inflation rate of over 4%, meaning that real wages continues to fall.

Meanwhile, real retail sales in July increaed 0.1% compared to the previous month while being unchanged compared to July 2010.

-Most economic indicators suggests that economic conditions weakened considerably in the United States in August, including a big drop in the Philly Fed manufacturing index and an increase in initial jobless benefits claims.

Meanwhile, consumer price inflation in July was relatively high, with the CPI increasing 0.5% compared to the previous month and 3.6% compared to July 2010. The big recent drop in oil prices means however that price inflation likely fell in August.

-German employment growth remained at 1.4% in the second quarter. The recent slowdown in economic growth was however visible in a slowdown in the rate of increase in hours worked per employee, from 1.2% to 0.2%.

-Latvia's employment growth wasn't quite as impressive as neighboring Estonia's, but still strong at 3.3%. And because Latvia's population is declining at a rate of more than 1%, employment relative to population increased by 4.4%. As a result, the unemployment rate fell from 19.4% to 16.2% despite an increase in the labor force participation rate.

-Hong Kong also saw rapid employment growth, 3.9%, with full time employment increasing even more. As a result, the unemployment rate fell to 3.4%.


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