EUROPEAN REVIEW

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ISSUE 51 page 9

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stats & facts

 

Eastern countries still lag west in rich list

Figures recently released by Eurostat show that in 2009 most of the newer Member States, mainly in eastern Europe, are still at the bottom of the league when it comes to prosperity. The two most recent entrants, Bulgaria and Romania, are in the last two places and the eight poorest countries are all post-2004 members. Only the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Cyprus have become richer than any older Member States. At the other end of the scale Luxembourg is way ahead with a figure of 268 compared with an average of a 100 for the whole EU in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per inhabitant. However this statistic is misleading as the small size of the country means that much of its wealth is created by workers who live in neighbouring states. Perhaps surprisingly, Ireland is the second richest Member State even after its economic crash, followed by the Netherlands and Austria.

EUGDPChart

A Purchasing Power Standard (PPS) is based on the price of the same basket of goods in different countries. It eliminates distortions caused by fluctuating currency exchange rates.

Slump in jobs slows down     
 The number of people employed in the EU is still falling but less rapidly than recently. Figures for the January to March period of this year show a 0.2% decrease compared to the previous quarter. Manufacturing and construction continue to haemorrhage jobs, with falls of 1.2% and 2.3% respectively, but  financial and other services and agriculture were up slightly. When the statistics are counted year-on-year however a darker picture emerges with 1.5% fewer people in work than at the start of 2009.  EUEmpChart
EU employment growth rates (quarter-on-quarter)




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