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Eurozone annual inflation up to 0.7%, EU up to 0.8%

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Eurostat_logo_RGB_60Eurozone annual inflation was 0.7% in April 2014, up from 0.5% in March. A year earlier the rate was 1.2%. Monthly inflation was 0.2% in April 2014. European Union annual inflation was 0.8% in April 2014, up from 0.6% in March. A year earlier the rate was 1.4%. Monthly inflation was 0.1% in April 2014. These figures come from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

In April 2014, negative annual rates were observed in Greece (-1.6%), Bulgaria (-1.3%), Cyprus (-0.4%), Hungary and Slovakia (both -0.2%), Croatia and Portugal (both -0.1%). The highest annual rates were recorded in Austria and Romania (both 1.6%), Finland (1.3%) and Germany (1.1%). Compared with March 2014, annual inflation fell in seven member states, remained stable in four and rose in sixteen.

The largest upward impacts to eurozone annual inflation came from package holidays (+0.09 percentage points), tobacco and electricity (+0.07 each), while fuels for transport (-0.18), telecommunications (-0.11) and vegetables.

(-0.08) had the biggest downward impacts.

 Annual inflation (%) in April 2014, in ascending order

* Data for Austria are provisional. Data for the United Kingdom are for March 2014.

Inflation rates in %, measured by HICPs

Annual rate

12 month average rate*

Monthly rate

Apr 14

Mar 14

Feb 14

Jan 14

Apr 13

Apr 14

Apr 14

Belgium

0.9

0.9

1.0

1.1

1.1

1.1

-0.2

Germany

1.1

0.9

1.0

1.2

1.1

1.4

-0.3

Estonia

0.8

0.7

1.1

1.6

3.4

2.3

0.2

Ireland

0.4

0.3

0.1

0.3

0.5

0.3

0.0

Greece

-1.6

-1.5

-0.9

-1.4

-0.6

-1.2

0.4

Spain

0.3

-0.2

0.1

0.3

1.5

0.8

0.6

France

0.8

0.7

1.1

0.8

0.8

0.9

0.0

Italy

0.5

0.3

0.4

0.6

1.3

0.8

0.5

Cyprus

-0.4

-0.9

-1.3

-1.6

0.1

-0.4

0.7

Latvia

0.8

0.3

0.5

0.5

-0.4

0.1

0.5

Luxembourg

0.9

0.8

0.8

1.5

1.7

1.3

0.2

Malta

0.5

1.4

1.6

0.9

0.9

0.8

1.9

Netherlands

0.6

0.1

0.4

0.8

2.8

1.7

0.6

Austria

1.6p

1.4

1.5

1.5

2.1

1.8p

0.1p

Portugal

-0.1

-0.4

-0.1

0.1

0.4

0.3

0.3

Slovenia

0.5

0.6

0.2

0.9

1.6

1.3

0.5

Slovakia

-0.2

-0.2

-0.1

0.0

1.7

0.7

0.0

Finland

1.3

1.3

1.6

1.9

2.4

1.9

0.1

Eurozone

0.7p

0.5

0.7

0.8

1.2

1.0p

0.2p

Bulgaria

-1.3

-2.0

-2.1

-1.4

0.9

-0.8

0.2

Czech Republic

0.2

0.3

0.3

0.3

1.7

0.9

0.0

Denmark

0.5

0.2

0.3

0.8

0.4

0.4

0.1

Croatia

-0.1

-0.1

-0.2

0.4

3.1

1.1

0.5

Lithuania

0.3

0.4

0.3

0.2

1.4

0.6

0.3

Hungary

-0.2

0.2

0.3

0.8

1.8

1.0

-0.1

Poland

0.3

0.6

0.7

0.6

0.8

0.6

0.1

Romania

1.6

1.3

1.3

1.2

4.4

2.1

0.3

Sweden

0.3

-0.4

0.1

0.2

0.0

0.3

0.4

United Kingdom5

:

1.6

1.7

1.9

2.4

:

:

EU

0.8p

0.6

0.8

0.9

1.4

1.1p

0.1p

Iceland

1.3

0.9

0.8

1.5

4.0

2.8

0.4

Norway

1.5

1.8

1.9

2.1

1.8

2.2

0.3

Switzerland

0.1

-0.1

-0.2

0.2

-0.4

0.1

0.1

Source: Eurostat           p = provisional          : = not available

* Average HICP of latest 12 months/average HICP of preceding 12 months.

Annual inflation (%) in the eurozone and European Union

Eurozone inflation rates in % for selected aggregates

Eurozone

Weight (‰)

Annual rate

12-month
average rate

Monthly
rate

2014

Apr 14

Mar 14

Feb 14

Jan 14

Apr 13

Apr 14

Apr 14

All-items

1000.0

0.7p

0.5

0.7

0.8

1.2

1.0p

0.2p

All-items excluding:
> energy

891.9

0.9p

0.8

1.1

1.0

1.4

1.2p

0.2p

  > energy, food, alcohol & tobacco

694.4

1.0p

0.7

1.0

0.8

1.0

1.0p

0.3p

  > energy, unprocessed food

817.1

1.1p

0.9

1.1

1.0

1.1

1.1p

0.2p

  > energy, seasonal food

853.5

1.1p

0.9r

1.1

1.0

1.2

1.2p

0.2p

  > tobacco

976.1

0.6p

0.4

0.6

0.7

1.1

0.9p

0.2p

Energy

108.1

-1.2p

-2.1

-2.3

-1.2

-0.4

-0.7p

-0.1p

Food, alcohol and tobacco

197.6

0.7p

1.0

1.5

1.7

2.9

2.2p

-0.1p

Non-energy industrial goods

266.6

0.1p

0.2

0.4

0.2

0.8

0.4p

0.4p

Services

427.8

1.6p

1.1

1.3

1.2

1.1

1.3p

0.1p

Source: Eurostat                      p = provisional          r = revised

Sub-indices with largest impacts on eurozone annual inflation

Sub-index

Weight (‰)

Annual rate

Impact (percentage points)

2014

Apr 14

Apr 14

09.60

Package holidays

17.1

8.1p

0.09

02.20

Tobacco

23.9

3.7p

0.07

04.51

Electricity

27.2

3.1p

0.07

01.17

Vegetables

15.6

-4.0p

-0.08

08.2/3

Telecommunications

29.0

-2.9p

-0.11

07.22

Fuels for transport

47.5

-2.7p

-0.18

Source: Eurostat                      p = provisional

More information can be found in the HICP dedicated section on Eurostat’s website and in the Statistics Explained article on the inflation in the eurozone.

Employment

Only 5% of total applications for long-term skilled work visas submitted in first quarter came from EU citizens, data shows

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The figures released by the UK Home Office give an indication of how Britain’s new post-Brexit immigration system will affect numbers of EU citizens coming to the UK to work. Between January 1 and March 31 this year EU citizens made 1,075 applications for long-term skilled work visas, including the health and care visa, which was just 5% of the total 20,738 applications for these visas.

The Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford said: “It is still too early to say what impact the post-Brexit immigration system will have on the numbers and characteristics of people coming to live or work in the UK. So far, applications from EU citizens under the new system have been very low and represent just a few percent of total demand for UK visas. However, it may take some time for potential applicants or their employers to become familiar with the new system and its requirements.”

The data also shows that the number of migrant healthcare workers coming to work in the UK has risen to record levels. 11,171 certificates of sponsorship were used for health and social care workers during the first quarter of this year. Each certificate equates to a migrant worker. At the start of 2018, there were 3,370. Nearly 40 percent of all skilled work visa applications were for people in the health and social work sector. There are now more migrant healthcare visa holders in the UK than at any time since records began in 2010. Although the number of sponsor licences for healthcare visas dropped to 280 during the first lockdown last year, it has continued to rise since, a pattern which was unaffected by the third lockdown this winter.

Conversely, the IT, education, finance, insurance, professional, scientific and technical sectors have all seen a drop in the number of migrants employed so far this year, despite rallying during the second half of 2020. The number of migrant IT workers is still significantly lower than pre-Covid levels. In the first quarter of 2020 there were 8,066 skilled work visas issued in the IT sector, there are currently 3,720. The number of migrant professionals and scientific and technical workers has also dipped slightly below pre-Covid levels.

Visa expert Yash Dubal, Director of A Y & J Solicitors said: “The data shows that the pandemic is still affecting the movement of people coming to the UK to work but does give an indication that demand for skilled work visas for workers outside the EU will continue to grow once travel has been normalised. There is particular interest in British IT jobs from workers in India now and we expect to see this pattern continue.”

Meanwhile the Home Office has published a commitment to enable the legitimate movement of people and goods to support economic prosperity, while tackling illegal migration. As part of its Outcome Delivery Plan for this year the department also pledges to ‘seize EU exit opportunities, through creating the world’s most effective border to increase UK prosperity and enhance security’, while acknowledging that income it collects from visa fees may decrease due to reduced demand.

The document reiterates the Government’s plan to attract the "brightest and best to the UK".

Dubal said: “While the figures relating to visas for IT workers and those in the scientific and technical sectors do not bear this commitment out, it is still early days for the new immigration system and the pandemic has had a profound effect on international travel. From our experience helping facilitate work visas for migrants there is a pent-up demand that will be realised over the coming 18 months.”

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Economy

NextGenerationEU: Four more national plans given thumbs up

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Economy and finance ministers today (26 July) welcomed the positive assessment of national recovery and resilience plans for Croatia, Cyprus, Lithuania and Slovenia. The Council will adopt its implementing decisions on the approval of these plans by written procedure.

In addition to the decision on 12 national plans adopted earlier in July, this takes the total number to 16. 

Slovenia’s Finance Minister Andrej Šircelj said: “The Recovery and Resilience Facility is the EU’s programme of large-scale financial support in response to the challenges the pandemic has posed to the European economy. The facility’s €672.5 billion will be used to support the reforms and investments outlined in the member states’ recovery and resilience plans.”

Reforms and investments

The plans have to comply with the 2019 and 2020 country-specific recommendations and reflect the EU’s general objective of creating a greener, more digital and more competitive economy.

Croatia plans to implement to reach these goals include improving water and waste management, a shift to sustainable mobility and financing digital infrastructures in remote rural areas. 

Cyprus intends, among other things, to reform its electricity market and facilitate the deployment of renewable energy, as well as to enhance connectivity and e-government solutions.

Lithuania will use the funds to increase locally produced renewables, green public procurement measures and further developing of the rollout of very high capacity networks.

Slovenia plans to use a part of the allocated EU support to invest in sustainable transport, unlock the potential of renewable energy sources and further digitalise its public sector.

Poland and Hungary

Asked about delays to the programmes of Poland and Hungary, the EU’s Economy Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said that the Commission had proposed an extension for Hungary to the end of September. On Poland, he said that the Polish government had already requested an extension, but that that might need a further extension. 

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Economy

EU extends scope of general exemption for public aid for projects

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Today (23 July) the Commission adopted an extension of the scope of the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER), which will allow EU countries to implement projects managed under the new financial framework (2021 - 2027), and measures that support the digital and green transition without prior notification.

Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager said: “The Commission is streamlining the state aid rules applicable to national funding that fall under the scope of certain EU programmes. This will improve further the interplay between EU funding rules and EU state aid rules under the new financing period. We are also introducing more possibilities for member states to provide state aid to support the twin transition to a green and digital economy  without the need of a prior notification procedure.”

The Commission argues that this will not cause undue distortions to competition in the Single Market, while making it easier to get projects up and running.  

The concerned national funds are those relating to: Financing and investment operations supported by the InvestEU Fund; research, development and innovation (RD&I) projects having received a “Seal of Excellence” under Horizon 2020 or Horizon Europe, as well as co-funded research and development projects or Teaming actions under Horizon 2020 or Horizon Europe; European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) projects, also known as Interreg.

Projects categories that are considered to help the green and digital transition are: Aid for energy efficiency projects in buildings; aid for recharging and refuelling infrastructure for low emission road vehicles; aid for fixed broadband networks, 4G and 5G mobile networks, certain trans-European digital connectivity infrastructure projects and certain vouchers.

In addition to the extension of the scope of the GBER adopted today, the Commission has already launched a new revision of the GBER aimed at streamlining state aid rules further in light of the Commission priorities in relation to the twin transition. Member states and stakeholders will be consulted in due course on the draft text of that new amendment.

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