Spain unemployment rises; UK avoids a triple dip recession
Unemployment in Spain rose to a new record high of 27.2% of the labour force in the first quarter of 2013, according to official figures in Madrid. The overall number of unemployed people in Spain has now exceeded the ‘six million’ figure, even though the rate of the increase has slow. Last week, the International Monetary Fund cut its 2013 forecast for Spain’s growth and said unemployment will peak at 27% this year. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, will publish tomorrow fiscal and policy measures aimed at pausing a six-year slump in the euro region’s fourth-largest economy.
In comparison, applications for U.S. unemployment benefits fell to a six-week low, which is more than expected according to a report released by the Labour Department yesterday. The report showed that initial unemployment claims fell to 339,000. With the greater than expected decrease, unemployment claims fell to their lowest level since hitting 334,000 in March signalling the labour market is improving. Despite the slow job growth during the month, the unemployment rate unexpectedly dipped to 7.6 percent, decreasing to its lowest level since December 2008.
Meanwhile, Britain avoided a “triple dip” recession by growing faster than expected in the first quarter of the year. The Office for National Statistics stated yesterday that Britain’s gross domestic product rose 0.3 percent in the three months of 2013, above its estimate of a 0.1 percent rise. Sterling hit its highest level in two months against the dollar. The latest GDP reading was 0.6 percent higher; the strongest increase since the end of 2011.