Europa synker ned i arbeidsledighet – for august lå den på 11,4 % for eurosonens 17 medlemsland i snitt, og det skal bli verre. Det heter fortsatt resesjon, men med den økonomiske utvikling i Hellas og Spania for øye kan man spørre om det ikke er riktigere å forberede seg på depresjon.
Unemployment in the 17 nations that use the euro was at 11.4 percent in August, according to Eurostat, the statistical agency of the European Union. The agency also revised the figures for June and July to 11.4 percent, up from the previously reported 11.3 percent, which was a record level for the region since the introduction of the euro in 1999.
The jobless numbers, which compare with the August rate of 8.1 percent in the United States, suggest that Europe’s recession is deepening despite the continued efforts of policy makers and finance ministers to cure the region’s malaise.
En generasjon unge risikerer å gå tapt i Spania, der ledigheten blant de under 25 nå er på 53 %
Nearly 53 percent of Spaniards younger than 25 were classified as unemployed in August.
“Youth unemployment, especially if prolonged, threatens to harm the self-esteem and economic potential of young people now and in the future,” Jonathan Todd, a spokesman for the European Commission, said in a statement on Monday after the release of joblessness figures.
“This could also pose a serious threat to social cohesion and increase the risk of political extremism,” he said. “E.U. institutions and governments, businesses and social partners at all levels need to do all they can to avoid a ‘lost generation,’ which would be an economic and social disaster.”
Industriproduksjonen faller, i neste omgang vil det slå inn på forbruksvarer og servicesektoren. Den samlede BNP for eurosonen vil falle 2,5 % neste år. Det er mye. Europa er ved å komme ned i et spor som bare blir dypere, og vanskeligere å komme seg opp av.
Jennifer McKeown, an economist with Capital Economics in London, noted in a report that while the economic strain was being felt most heavily at the “periphery” of the euro zone, in places like Spain and Portugal, “the situation is bad in the core, too,” with the French jobless rate at 10.6 percent. Last week, the French government said the number of jobless people had passed three million for the first time since 1999.
The data Monday “suggest that the industrial sector is experiencing a sharp downturn,” Ms. McKeown wrote, “and with unemployment at a record high, the outlook for the consumer sector is gloomy, too.” She estimated that the gross domestic product of the euro zone would shrink 2.5 percent next year.
Det er nok å se på gjeldsutviklingen til Spania for å forstå at situasjonen er ved å bli uholdbar. Spania skal neste år betale 38 milliarder euro bare i renter. Det er 10 milliarder mer enn budsjettert i 2012. Spania under statsminister Mariano Rajoy håper tiden skal redde dem, men tiden arbeider mot dem. Hvilken rolle spiller det om Spanias rente på oligasjonslån går ned fra 6 til 5.83 %? Slike «lettelser» er blår i øynene. Det er som å trøste seg med at farten med avgrunnen går i 50 km i stedet for 60.
His plan for 2013 estimates debt interest payments of 38.6 billion euros next year, almost 10 billion euros more than what was budgeted for 2012, and underlining the extent to which Madrid faces borrowing costs that many economists consider to be unsustainable.
So far, Mr. Rajoy seems intent on buying time, hoping that Spain’s borrowing costs remain relatively stable in the debt markets. That could enable his government to delay or avoid asking for help from the central bank bond-buying program, whose main purpose would be to help keep a lid on the interest rates that investors demand to hold Spanish debt.