Macro roundup: Job protection
Greece's unemployment rate remained unchanged at a 12-year low in January
In last week’s newsletter we noted that the ECB’s hawkish turn makes it the latest major central bank to capitulate to rising inflation.
Since the paradigm is shifting on economic policy, it’s worth noting again how the response to the pandemic was an enormous success — preventing an unprecedented economic shock from wreaking unprecedented economic damage.
Greece’s statistical authority released January unemployment data this week, which showed the jobless rate unchanged from the month before at 12.8 percent. Although the rate didn’t drop any further in the month, that’s the lowest rate since 2010 — and a drop from 28 percent at its peak in 2013.
The number of people employed in January was 2.3 percent higher than in January 2020, before the coronavirus reached Greece. Let’s hope that trend continues through the coming tightening cycle.
The central government ran a primary surplus of 847 million euros in the first two months of the year, compared with a target in the 2022 budget for a deficit of 239 million euros. However, this over-performance against the target can be attributed the fact that execution hasn’t been made yet on payments for purchases of military equipment included in the 2022 budget.
The import price index in industry rose an annual 31.8 percent in January. Crude oil and natural gas increased 84.5 percent.
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Next week’s key releases
Wednesday, March 23:
January balance of payments (Bank of Greece)
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