2:00 PM Frankfurt – Euro area employment rose and Spanish home prices eased in the fourth quarter. German investor confidence deteriorated in March. French inflation slowed in February. Dutch retail sales and industrial production rose in January.
Euro-zone Employment Grows
Euro-zone''s employment grew 0.1% on a quarterly basis in the fourth quarter after remaining unchanged in the preceding three months, preliminary estimate from Eurostat showed today.
Compared to the previous year, the number of employed grew 0.3% in the fourth quarter, following a 0.2% fall in the third quarter. The pace of growth was the same in the European Union member states.
Decline in employment were recorded in construction and manufacturing. On the other hand, employment increased in agriculture and in financial services as well as business activities.
For 2010, employment decreased 0.5% in both the euro area and the EU27 compared to the 1.8% fall in both zones in 2009.
German Investor Confidence Deteriorates
German economic sentiment deteriorated in March, survey results from the Centre for European Economic Research, or ZEW showed.
The ZEW indicator of economic sentiment fell 1.6 points in March to 14.1 from 15.7 in February.
French Inflation Eases
France''s consumer price index rose 1.7% annually in February as against the 1.8% rise in January, data released by the statistics office INSEE showed today.
On a monthly basis, prices rose 0.5% in February following a 0.2% fall in January.
The annual growth in February came mainly from the 15% increase of energy product prices and the 1.6% rise of prices of services, while prices of manufactured products were steady, INSEE said.
Core inflation, which excludes prices of volatile items, slowed to 0.4% in February from 0.7% in January.
Spanish Home Price Eases
Spanish house price index declined 1.9% annually in the fourth quarter after falling 2.2% in the third quarter, data from the statistics office INE showed today.
The price index for new housing slid 2.1% in the fourth quarter compared to a 2.6% fall in the third quarter.
Norwegian Consumer Sentiment Improves
Norwegian consumer sentiment index improved to 30.3 in the first quarter from 27.7 in the fourth quarter of 2010, data released by the Finance Norway and survey group TNS Gallup showed on Tuesday.
The survey conducted between February 24 and March 3 said confidence among households reached at its highest level since 2007.