The unemployment rate in the United Kingdom fell to 4.3 percent in the three-month period ending in September, compared to 4.5 percent for the three months to August, according to the country's Office for National Statistics.
This is the lowest since the three months to July 2020.
The decline in the jobless rate resulted from falls in those unemployed for up to 12 months, while the number of those unemployed for up to 6 months declined to pre-pandemic levels. However, long-term unemployment still rose.
Moreover, the number of unemployment benefits claimants among Britain's population decreased by 14,900, official data revealed.
This the eighth straight month in which the number of people claiming unemployment benefits declined as the economy continues its recovery from the pandemic. In September, the slip in the indicator was by 51,100 people.
Meanwhile, the country’s labor productivity fell by a quarterly rate of 1.2 percent in the three months to September, compared to a marginal 0.1 percent rise in the previous period, preliminary estimates showed.
French inflation on the rise
The yearly inflation rate in France reached 2.6 percent in October, rising from the previous month’s 2.2 percent, the country’s official statistics agency said.
Energy prices largely drove the inflationary pressures, going up by 20.6 percent compared to a year ago. In particular, the prices of petroleum products, diesel and gas surged annually by 27, 27.4 and 50.2 percent.
Prices of services also increased by a year-on-year rate of 1.8 percent while tobacco products cost 4.8 percent more in October compared to the previous year.
Moreover, France’s annual core inflation rate, which excludes changes in the prices of food and energy, experienced an uptick in October, increasing to 1.4 percent. In the previous month, the rate reached 1.3 percent.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose by 0.4 percent in October following a 0.2 percent decline in September.
Australia’s interest rate decision
Hikes in Australia’s interest rates are not likely to take place before 2024, the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) board said. The board cited a slowdown in changes in wages and inflation for this decision.
However, the bank acknowledged that the shift in inflation risks turned upwards, especially after the core inflation rate rose to 2.1 percent and into RBA’s target band of 2-3 percent for the first time in six years.
The bank had not expected this development to materialize before 2023.
Global goods trade easing
Weaker demand and supply issues are causing the global goods trade to slow down, the World Trade Organization (WTO) said. This comes after trade flows for goods experienced a strong rebound following the pandemic.
The international organization added that its goods trade barometer dropped to 99.5 in November, below a baseline of 100. The indicator reached a record high in August, when it stood at 110.4.