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Euro area annual inflation was 0.5% in March 2014, down from 0.7% in February. A year earlier the rate was 1.7%. Monthly inflation was 0.9% in March 2014.
The EU28 seasonally adjusted external current account recorded a surplus of 39.4 billion euro (1.2% of GDP) in the fourth quarter of 2013, up from a surplus of 34.4 bn (1.1% of GDP) in the third quarter of 2013 and from a surplus of 24.1 bn (0.7% of GDP) in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to a second estimate released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
Regional unemployment rates varied widely across the 272 NUTS 2 regions of the EU28 in 2013, with the lowest rates recorded in the regions of Oberbayern in Germany (2.6%), Freiburg in Germany and Salzburg in Austria (both 2.9%), Tübingen in Germany and Tirol in Austria (both 3.0%), while the highest rates were registered in five Spanish regions: Andalucía (36.3%), Ceuta (35.6%), Melilla (34.4%), Canarias (34.1%) and Extremadura (33.7%).
The first estimate for the euro area (EA18) trade in goods balance with the rest of the world in February 2014 gave a 13.6 billion euro surplus, compared with +9.8 bn in February 2013. The January 2014 balance was +0.8 bn, compared with -4.8 bn in January 2013. In February 2014 compared with January 2014, seasonally adjusted exports rose by 1.2% and imports by 0.6%.
In February 2014 compared with January, seasonally adjusted industrial production rose by 0.2% in the euro area (EA18) and by 0.4% in the EU28, according to estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In January industrial production remained stable in the euro area and increased by 0.2% in the EU28.
There has been a steady increase in the share of persons aged 30 to 34 in the EU28 who have completed tertiary education, from 24% in 2002, when the series started, to 37% in 2013. The Europe 2020 strategy’s target is to increase the proportion of persons having completed tertiary education to at least 40% of the EU28 population in this age group by 2020.
House prices, as measured by the House Price Index (HPI), fell by 1.4% in the euro area and by 0.1% in the EU in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared with the same quarter of the previous year, according to data published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
The EU28 population aged 15 to 74 can be classified into three groups: in 2013, these were 216.4 million persons in employment, 26.2 million unemployed and 137.2 million economically inactive. Among those in employment, 43.7 million were part-time workers, of which 9.9 million (23% of part-time workers) are underemployed, meaning they wished to work more hours and were available to do so.
In February 2014 compared with January 2014, the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade rose by 0.4% in the euro area (EA18) and by 0.5% in the EU28, according to estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In January retail trade increased by 1.0% and 0.6% respectively.
In February 2014, compared with January 2014, industrial producer prices fell by 0.2% in both the euro area (EA18) and the EU28, according to estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In January prices decreased by 0.3% in both zones.
The euro area (EA18) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 11.9% in February 2014, stable since October 2013. It was 12.0% in February 2013. The EU28 unemployment rate was 10.6% in February 2014, down from 10.7% in January 2014. It was 10.9% in February 2013. These figures are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
Euro area annual inflation is expected to be 0.5% in March 2014, down from 0.7% in February, according to a flash estimate from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
EU28 international trade in goods with Africa has grown in the last decade. EU28 exports to Africa increased steadily from 2002 to 2008, fell in 2009, and then recovered in the following years to reach a peak of 153 billion euro in 2013. Imports followed a similar trend, but peaked at 187 bn in 2012, and then fell to 168 bn in 2013. The EU28 deficit in trade with Africa, which reached a peak of 41 bn in 2008, amounted to 15 bn in 2013.
In 2013, average hourly labour costs in the whole economy (excluding agriculture and public administration) were estimated to be €23.7 in the EU28 and €28.4 in the euro area (EA17). However, this average masks significant differences between EU Member States, with the lowest hourly labour costs recorded in Bulgaria (€3.7), Romania (€4.6), Lithuania (€6.2) and Latvia (€6.3), and the highest in Sweden (€40.1), Denmark (€38.4), Belgium (€38.0), Luxembourg (€35.7) and France (€34.3).
In the EU28, 492 kg of municipal waste was generated per person in 2012, while 480 kg of municipal waste was treated per person. This municipal waste was treated in different ways: 34% was landfilled, 24% incinerated, 27% recycled and 15% composted. For the EU there has been a significant increase in the share of municipal waste recycled or composted, from 18% in 1995 to 42% in 2012.
In 2013, 435 000 asylum applicants were registered in the EU28. It is estimated that around 90% of these were new applicants and around 10% were repeat applicants. In 2012, there were 335 000 asylum applicants.
The USA remained the EU's largest trading partner for both goods and services in 2013. However, there has been a steady decline in the share of the USA in total EU28 international trade in goods over the last decade. While in 2002, the USA accounted for 28% of total EU28 exports and 20% of imports, by 2013 these shares had fallen to 17% and 12% respectively.