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Links. EU (not?).

 

The latest UK (un)employment data (August) show at worst some stalling of the relatively high pace of the growth of employment. But there is no sign of any kind of Brexit cliff.

The latest UK retail sales data show a 4,1% increase in volume (September). Obviously, people care more about earnings growth (2% higher wages and 1,6% more employment compared with one year ago) than about Brexit. This surprised me: average store prices were 1,1% lower than one year before.

The latest UK data on the government deficit and debt show that the UK does not comply with the Maastricht criteria. Between 2009 and 2015, the government deficit however declined from 10% of GDP (or about 25% of government expenditure) to about 4% of GDP.

This is not EU (yet). Yes, Trumps effort to mobilize poll watchers reminds me of Mussolini’s ‘Blackshirts’. Remember: the USA does have a history of weaponized poll watching, aimed at preventing blacks to vote. Or is this the EU too, already (Marine Le Pen on France voices in a very gentle way a very blunt insinuation (subtitled))

‘Despite’ the most brutal cuts to nominal wages in Western European Post War History Greece still is in the doldrums, despite a recovery of the tourist sector. Lowering wages does not lead to superior export performance. Some time ago I had a conversation with a woman who organized the ‘country-weeks’ of Lidl, a Germany based European supermarket chain. Organizing the (Europe-wide) Greece-week was difficult, as Greek producers of groceries were too small to satisfy the demand of Lidl. No links, too depressing.

The number of building permits (‘Genehmigte wohningen’, I’m not entirely sure of my translation, it might also mean that preparations to build started) in Germany doubled between 2010 and 2016 and is back to the 2000 level. At first sight this is, considering the German perma-slump between 1992 and 2010 and a rebound in German population growth (a net 1,1 million immigrants and refugees, For the first time immigrants from non-European countries outnumbered those from Europe), not yet an unsustainable building boom. Does anybody have a second sight opinion? To prevent silly talks: almost none of the immigrants come from Turkey, which is a relatively stable country. Non-Europeans from the Levant escape from a region which, since 1979 (Soviet invasion of Afghanistan), has become been increasingly unstable, a process which still continues. And yes, we should of course seriously push Saudi Arabia to guarantee full freedom of religion for everybody residing in that country instead of helping them to bomb Jemen. Anyway – West-Germany has been a mayor immigration since 1944 (18 million or so, including 2015) and it is good to see that they are coping with the new influx of immigrants.

 

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