Eurozone economy slumps further

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Eurozone economy slumps further

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The eurozone’s economy slumped further at the end of last year as retail sales fell and consumer confidence slid.

That according to the latest data from the EU’s statistics office Eurostat and the European Commission.

Euro zone retail trade fell a worse-than-expected 0.8 percent in November from October, Eurostat said.

Pointing to the cautiousness of European households, the European Commission said that in December consumer confidence fell 0.7 points in the 17 countries sharing the euro.

High unemployment is hitting consumption and Eurostat said the euro zone jobless rate was 10.3 percent of the working population in November up slightly from one year earlier.

The number of unemployed increased for the seventh consecutive month, while hiring intentions fell further in December, according the data.

That compared with an unemployment rate of 8.6 percent in the United States, Eurostat said.

One apparent bright spot in the data released on Friday was the improvement in the Commission’s business climate indicator, which increased for the first time in 10 months as factory managers showed optimism about future production plans and export order books.