Unemployment in the 17-country eurozone hit a record-high of 11.6% in September, official figures showed today, a sign the economy is deteriorating as governments struggle to get a grip on their three-year debt crisis. The rate reported by Eurostat, the EU’s statistics office, was up from an upwardly-revised 11.5% in August. In total, 18.49 million people were out of work in the eurozone in September, up 146,000 on the previous month, the biggest increase in three months. While the eurozone’s unemployment rate has been rising steadily for the past year as the economy struggled with a financial crisis and government spending cuts, the US has seen its equivalent rate fall to 7.8%. The latest US figures are due this Friday.
UK PM asks for real terms decrease in EU budget
Britain would prefer to see a real terms decrease in the European Union’s budget, a spokesman for Prime Minister David Cameron said today. Ideally, we would like to see a cut in the EU budget, but we do not decide the EU budget—that is decided by negotiation with the 27 EU countries, the spokesman told reporters. Cameron, who is currently demanding a real terms freeze in the 2014-2020 EU budget which would see it rise in line with inflation, has come under pressure at home to accept nothing less than a real terms cut in the budget. European leaders meet on November 22-23 to attempt to reach agreement on the budget.
OECD, WTO, UN press G20 for free markets
The world’s leading economies must try harder to keep their markets open to counter slowing global growth, international agencies said on Wednesday. The World Trade Organisation, the OECD and UNCTAD said the G20 group of countries imposed fewer protectionist measures in the past five months, but the slow pace of recovery in foreign direct investment (FDI) was causing concern. Over the past five months, the global economy has encountered increasingly strong headwinds, the agencies said in a joint report. G20 governments need to redouble their efforts to keep their markets open and to advance trade opening as a way to counter slowing global economic growth. The three agencies issued their report, the latest in a semi-annual series, as a joint presentation for the leaders of the group, which comprises the world’s richest powers and leading emerging economies.
GM sees breakeven in Europe by 2015
General Motors posted a surprisingly strong profit on Wednesday and said it was targeting a return to break-even levels in its European operations by mid-decade after a loss of as much as $1.8 billion in that region this year. Shares of the automaker rose 4.9% to $24.42 in trading before the market opened. We still have a lot of work to do, especially in Europe, GM chief financial officer Dan Ammann said in a statement. GM’s third-quarter net income attributable to common shareholders fell to $1.48 billion, or 89 cents a share, from $1.74 billion, or $1.03 a share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, GM earned 93 cents a share, far above the analysts’ average estimate of 60 cents, according to Thomson Reuters.
Honda starts making small jets in US
Honda Motor has begun making its unconventionally designed small passenger jet in the US, aiming to create a Civic of the Sky that could make it a major competitor among the world’s aircraft manufacturers. Honda said that its US-based passenger aircraft unit was building the tiny five-passenger jet, noted for its two engines mounted over the wings, in Greensboro, North Carolina.
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