Eurozone jobless rate hits fresh eight-year low as recovery strengthens – business live

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All the day’s economic and financial news, including new UK consumer credit data and the latest eurozone inflation and unemployment statistics

12.25pm BST

Newsflash: Officials from the Bank of England and the Unite union have sat down at conciliation firm ACAS.

It’s a final attempt to stop a three-day walkout at the Bank, starting tomorrow, over a 1% pay offer to Unite staff.

Last-ditch talks aimed at averting the first strike at the Bank of England in more than 50 years have started @acasorguk @unitetheunion

12.04pm BST

The threat of US sanctions on Venezuela has alarmed investors, sending them racing to ditch bonds issued by Caracas.

The price of long-term Venezuelan dollar bonds fell almost one cent, according to Reuters data.

Venezuela – EU has ‘grave doubts election result can be recognised’, says held in ‘doubtful, often violent circumstances’

11.30am BST

Marc Brütsch, chief economist at Swiss Life, says the drop in eurozone unemployment shows that Europe’s economy is strengthening:

#Eurozone recovery reaches labour market. #Unemployment rate falls to lowest sine financial crisis #Economy #Euroland

#EUR starts week on front foot on raft of strong data, incl. unexpected fall in Eurozone unemployment, better than forecast #inflation ^KO

Unemployment at 9.1% is still extremely high and when you break that down by country, it becomes much higher again in some places. Core inflation is also only at 1.3% which is still well below the ECB’s target and with the currency appreciating strongly this year, downward pressures here will continue to build.

The central bank should therefore tread very carefully when it comes to removing stimulus, as I expect it will.

10.40am BST

In another encouraging sign, youth unemployment across the eurozone has fallen by 400,000 over the last year.

There are now 2.588 million young people out of work in the euro area, or 18.7% of the youth population, down from 21% in June 2016.

10.11am BST

Boom! Unemployment across the eurozone has fallen to a new eight-year low.

The euro area jobless rate has dropped to 9.1% in June, down from 9.2% in May. This level was last seen in February 2009, after the financial crisis drove Europe into recession.

Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates in June 2017 were recorded in the Czech Republic (2,9%), Germany (3.8%) and Malta (4.1%).

The highest unemployment rates were observed in Greece (21.7% in April 2017) and Spain (17.1%).

9.50am BST

Newsflash: Back in the UK, the number of mortgages being approved has dipped to a nine-month low.

A total of 64,684 new home loans were agreed in June, new figures from the Bank of England show, down from 65,109 in May. That’s the lowest since September 2016.

UK mortgage approvals in June continue to point to fairly flat rather than falling house prices in the next 6 months.

UK consumer credit rises again, to 19.7% of household income in Q2. Most of the push has come from personal loans & overdrafts.

9.29am BST

As this chart shows, Venezuela is the third-largest exporter of oil into the US market:

The U.S. is weighing new sanctions against Venezuela by targeting its vital oil industry vía @WSJ

9.28am BST

Venezuela’s public finances have been badly hurt by the fall in the oil price a couple of years ago.

That loss of revenue has fuelled the country’s political and economic crisis, as RBC Capital Markets explain:

Many petro states have seen their finances severely strained by the oil price slump. However, no country has experienced as fast and furious fall as Venezuela has, and it now appears poised to earn the dubious distinction of being the first to fully fail. The statistics are staggering.

By the end of the 2017, the Venezuelan economy will likely have shrunk by 30% in three years. The IMF forecasts that inflation will average 720% this year and top 2,000% in 2018. Half of the population is living in extreme poverty and health officials are even starting to warn of famine if current trends continue, according to the International Crisis Group. Three months of daily demonstrations and strikes have left more than a hundred dead and thousands injured. Thousands more are languishing in jail.

9.10am BST

Venezuela’s new assembly will give President Nicolas Maduro and his supporters “near-total” control of the levers of power, say Associated Press.

AP also report that opposition parties don’t accept the government’s claim that over 40% of the public voted:

Council president Tibisay Lucena announced just before midnight that turnout in Sunday’s vote was 41.53 percent, or 8,089,320 people.

The count was met with mockery and anger from members of the opposition, who said they believed between 2 million and 3 million people voted. One well-respected independent analysis said 3.6 million appeared to have voted.

9.00am BST

UK foreign office minister Sir Alan Duncan has tweeted that he’s “appalled” by the events in Venezuela:

Appalled by sham-democratic Constituent Assembly in #Venezuela, and yet more tragic deaths. Urgent negotiation needed to tackle crisis.

8.44am BST

My colleague Sibylla Brodzinsky has written about the deadly clashes on the streets of Venezuela during Sunday’s voting.

Many voters decided against taking part in an election the opposition said would turn the country into a full-fledged dictatorship.

As many as 14 people died in the protests, according to opposition leader Henrique Capriles, and the prosecutor’s office confirmed at least six people were killed by gunfire, including one national guardsman. Seven policemen were wounded in an explosion in the opposition stronghold neighbourhood of Altamira.

Related: Venezuela heading for dictatorship after ‘sham’ election, warns US amid clashes

8.41am BST

This chart shows how the Venezuela crisis has driven oil to a two-month high:

8.24am BST

The oil price is rallying this morning, following reports that the US government could hit Venezuela with sanctions.

Brent crude has jumped to $52.85 per barrel, its highest level since late May, and US crude is back over the $50/barrel mark.

Maduro’s sham election is another step toward dictatorship. We won’t accept an illegit govt. The Venezuelan ppl & democracy will prevail.

“We will continue to take strong and swift actions against the architects of authoritarianism in Venezuela, including those who participate in the National Constituent Assembly as a result of today’s flawed election,”

“We encourage governments in the hemisphere and around the world to take strong action to hold accountable those who undermine democracy, deny human rights,bear responsibility for violence and repression, or engage in corrupt practices.

The measures, which could be announced as early as Monday, are not expected to include a ban on Venezuelan oil shipments to the United States — one of the harshest options — but could block sale of lighter U.S. crude that Venezuela mixes with its heavy crude and then exports, the officials told Reuters.

7.51am BST

Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.

Today we get a new healthcheck on Britain’s economy, with new figures showing how much new credit was lapped up by consumer last month, and how many people took out mortgages.

Mortgage approvals for June are set to remain steady at 65k, while net lending is expected to slow down a touch from the numbers seen in May, as declining consumer confidence and rising inflation squeezes wages, not to mention the uncertainty created by the June election result.

The pace of improvement is still gradual, due in particular to the continued sluggish performance of the French and Italian labour markets, meaning that the considerable degree of labour market slack that exists in the euro area continues to be absorbed only slowly.

Last-minute talks bid to halt first Bank of England strike in 50 years

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Link : Eurozone jobless rate hits fresh eight-year low as recovery strengthens – business live


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