Aug 14 2013

Austerity rocks!


UK wages fall among sharpest in EU

Press Association

Sunday 11 August 2013 09.12 EDT

The value of UK workers’ wages has suffered one of the sharpest falls in the EU, House of Commons library figures show.

The 5.5% reduction in average hourly wages since mid-2010, adjusted for inflation, means British workers have felt the squeeze more than those in countries hit by the eurozone crisis. Spanish workers’s wages dropped by 3.3% over the same period and in Cyprus salaries fell by 3% in real terms.

Only Greek, Portuguese and Dutch wages suffered a steeper decline than the UK, the analysis showed, while they rose by 2.7% in Germany and 0.4% in France.

Across the EU as a whole the average fall in wages, adjusted for the European Central Bank’ s harmonised index of consumer prices, was 0.7% and in eurozone area 0.1%.

The shadow Treasury minister, Cathy Jamieson, said: “These figures show the full scale of David Cameron’s cost of living crisis. Working people are not only worse off under the Tories, we’re also doing much worse than almost all other EU countries.

Despite out of touch claims by ministers, life is getting harder for ordinary families as prices continue rising faster than wages. People on middle and low incomes have also seen tax rises and cuts to tax credits, while millionaires have been given a huge tax cut.”

Cameron has overseen 35 consecutive months of falling real wages, more than any other prime minister on record, and spending power has dropped in every month but one under coalition rule as price rises outstrip wage increases

Meanwhile in Greece-

Contraction Shows Signs of Slowing for Greece

By DAVID JOLLY, The New York Times

Published: August 12, 2013

The Greek economy posted its 20th consecutive quarterly decline in the three months through June, government data showed on Monday, but a slower pace of contraction provided a glimmer of hope for beleaguered Greeks.

Gross domestic product shrank by 4.6 percent in the second quarter compared with the same three months a year earlier, the official Hellenic Statistical Authority said. That was an improvement from the first quarter of 2013, when the economy contracted 5.6 percent compared with a year earlier.

“The troika’s forecast for a 4.2 percent annual decline in 2013 looks achievable,” Mr. May (an economist in London with Capital Economics) said.

But it remains “plausible,” he said, that the Greek economy will continue shrinking into 2015. He forecast a 2 percent decline in G.D.P. for next year, followed by a 0.5 percent contraction in 2015.

Many economists argue that the austerity approach favored by the troika is itself part of the problem, pushing Greek unemployment to depression levels. The jobless rate reached a new peak of 27.6 percent in May, according to the statistical agency, with youth unemployment around 65 percent.

Austerity has in practice largely meant laying off civil servants and cutting social spending, because raising taxes generates little revenue in a collapsing economy.

The URL title for this piece is- Greek Economy Shrinks for 20th Straight Quarter.

1 comment

  1. ek hornbeck

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