U.K. Unemployment Rate Hits 9-Month Low, Defying Recession

More hints from europe that deficits may be high enough to support a bit of GDP growth?

Euro-Region Construction Output Advanced in May, Led by Germany

By Simone Meier

July 18 (Bloomberg) — Euro-area construction output rose in May, as gains in Germany and Portugal offset declining production in Italy, Spain and the Netherlands.

Construction in the 17-nation euro area advanced 0.1 percent from April, when it dropped 3.7 percent, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. From a year earlier, construction output declined 8.4 percent.

In Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, construction output increased 3.1 percent from April, when it fell 5.5 percent, today’s report showed. Portugal and France reported increases of 3.6 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively. In Italy, output fell 1.4 percent from the previous month, when it dropped 4.3 percent. Spanish output slumped 3.3 percent after a 3 percent drop in April, and the Netherlands had a decline of 0.7 percent.

In the 27-nation EU, output rose 1.6 percent from April, when it fell 6.9 percent. Ireland and Greece are not required to provide monthly data on construction output.

U.K. Unemployment Rate Hits 9-Month Low, Defying Recession

By Scott Hamilton

July 18 (Bloomberg) — U.K. unemployment fell to a nine- month low in the quarter through May. Unemployment based on International Labour Organization methods fell to 8.1 percent of the workforce from 8.2 percent in the period through April. Jobless-benefit claims rose 6,100 in June. The number of people in work climbed 181,000 to 29.4 million with full- time work accounting for most of the increase. London gained 61,000, partly reflecting hiring for the Olympic Games that open on July 27. The claimant-count rate was 4.9 percent. Claims rose 6,900 in May instead of the 8,100 rise initially reported. June was affected by a rule change that forced more lone parents to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance.