Economic statistics released this week reflect a further weakening of the world economy and a further fall in the living standards of the international working class.
Reports on unemployment, manufacturing activity, economic growth and personal income in Europe, China and the United States point to an overall slowdown in economic growth and a rise in unemployment and poverty. They coincide with new moves by the European Union and the Obama administration in the US to slash social spending and public-sector jobs and wages. These measures mark an escalation of the class-war policies that have fueled the economic slump and already brought untold suffering to hundreds of millions of workers.
On Friday, the European Union statistics agency Eurostat reported that unemployment in the 17-nation euro zone hit a new record in January of 11.9 percent, up from 11.8 percent in December. For the 27-nation European Union as a whole, the official figure for January was 10.8 percent, up from 10.7 percent the previous month.
There were nearly 19 million unemployed people in the euro zone, an increase of 200,000 from January, according to official figures. In the whole of the EU, there were 26.2 million jobless workers, 222,000 more than in December. The real situation is even worse than these staggering figures indicate, since they do not take into account millions of people who have dropped out of the labor market.
Urgent! Hedge Funds Preparing For Market Sell-Off.
Some of the biggest U.S. hedge-fund investors have made billions betting against the yen, exploiting Japan’s determination to weaken its currency and boost its economy.
“It is in fact that specter of repeating the Japanese experience that now keeps me up at night,” Evans said.