Irish unemployment hits eight-year low

Positive employment numbers here contrast with lacklustre data for euro area as a whole.


Ireland’s jobless rate hit a new eight-year low of 8.6 per cent last month as conditions in the wider economy continue to improve. However, the pick-up in employment here constrasted with lacklustre growth numbers from the euro area as a whole where fears about the global economy and a possible Brexit weighed on demand.

The latest round of Purchasing Managers Indexes (PMIs) will make glum reading for European Central Bank policymakers, coming just weeks after they unleashed another package of measures to spur growth and inflation in the currency bloc.

The ECB targets inflation just below 2 per cent, but data showed last week it was -0.1 per cent in March.

Producer prices also fell more than expected in February and the pace of their monthly decline increased, excluding volatile energy prices.

There are few signs the latest round of stimulus has had much impact on growth either.



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