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Eurozone Employment Improves Slightly

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Eurozone Employment Improves Slightly

The Statistics Bureau of the European Union, Eurostat, has published some trade and employment data this morning relating to the broad performance of the Eurozone economy.

The Employment Change figure is showing a pickup in the first quarter of this year of 0.1%, this quarter on quarter number compares equally to the reading obtained over the last three months of 2013 which also produced a revised 0.1% increase in employment numbers, the market consensus on this reading was also for a 0.1% change again during Q1. Year on year Employment Change is now at 0.2% growth, this is comparable to the prior quarters reading on this number which showed a -0.4% contraction.

On the trade front the Trade Balance number for the month of April is now reading at €15.8Bn, this seasonally adjusted number is comparable to the March showing of €15.2Bn, market consensus for the April EU Trade Balance was €15.9. On a non seasonally adjusted basis the data becomes a little more volatile, the April release is €15.7Bn compared to a March figure of €17.1Bn and a market consensus estimate for a €13.9Bn EU Trade Surplus.

The persistent strength of the Euro is doing nothing to encourage trade balance growth, although off it’s recent highs the single currency is still relatively expensive compared to those of the bloc’s key trading partners.

The likelihood of the European Central Bank (ECB) moving toward a program of quantitative easing has created global demand for sovereign debt from Eurozone member states. Yields on the bonds of the EU’s 18 single currency member states have compressed since the notion of a large scale asset purchase program by the ECB first became a credible option earlier this year. Global investors see this as a win-win situation, either the ECB enters the secondary debt market and soaks up supply or the Eurozone continues down a low inflation path. The attractiveness of this situation is creating demand for the Euro.

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