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Eurostat Economic Analysis: Record High Inflation Levels in the EU!


Each month, Eurostat presents an overview of the macroeconomic situation in the euro area and the European Union with the main indicators of production, demand, labor and prices. The latest statistics operate mainly with data for the third quarter of 2022 based on the figures available in October 2022.

Overall, the economic situation in the EU is characterized by a persistent rise in inflation, mainly due to high energy and food prices, as well as a continued decline in overall economic optimism in all sectors and among consumers. On the positive side, there is a stable labor market, particularly in terms of unemployment rates, and some rebound in industrial production in the middle of the second quarter.

Here are the key economic developments in the EU in figures:

- Inflation
Annual inflation in the EU was 10.9% in September 2022, up from 10.1% in August. This is a new record high, the highest since the time series began in 1997. Three Baltic countries recorded the highest estimated annual inflation rates, Estonia (24.1%), Lithuania (22.5%) and Latvia (22.0%), while the lowest were seen in Finland (8.4%), Malta (7.4%) and France (6.2%).

- Gross domestic product (GDP)
In the second quarter of 2022, GDP in the EU grew by 0.7% compared to the previous quarter and if compared to the second quarter of the previous year by 4.3%. In the majority of the member states GDP increased quarter-on-quarter with the sharpest growth recorded in the Netherlands (+2.6 %), Croatia (+2.0 %), Austria (+1.9 %), while the highest decreases were observed in Poland (-2.1 %), Estonia (-1.3 %) and Luxembourg (-0.5 %).

- Unemployment
The EU unemployment rate in August 2022 was 6.0%, unchanged from July 2022, remaining below its pre-pandemic level of 6.6% in February 2020. The youth unemployment rate for 15-24 year olds remained stable at 13.8%. The Czech Republic (2.4%), Poland (2.6%) and Malta (2.9%), had the lowest unemployment rate, while Cyprus (8.6%), Greece (12.2%) and Spain (12.4%) had the highest. Eurostat estimates that about 12.9 million people in the EU, of which 10.9 million in the eurozone, were unemployed in July.

- Production
In August 2022, seasonally adjusted industrial production increased by 1.1% in the EU compared to the previous month. In July 2022, industrial production fell by 1.5%. In July 2022, production in construction increased by 0.2% in the EU while in August it decreased by 0.4% compared to July.

- Retail trade
Compared to the previous month, in August 2022, the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade slightly decreased by 0.2% in the EU.