Europe’s Record Jobless Rate Seen Resisting Recovery

in Frankfurt . The euro was little changed at $1.3525. Italys Letta said hell request a confidence vote for Oct. 2 to try to save his five-month-old administration after Silvio Berlusconi withdrew his support from the ruling coalition and pulled his ministers from cabinet. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development sees Italian unemployment at 12.5 percent next year. Data released at 10 a.m. in Rome tomorrow will show whether joblessness still is near a May all-time high of 12.2 percent. It stood at 12 percent in July. The situation for the unemployed is particularly bleak in Spain and Greece , where the OECD expects jobless rates to remain above 25 percent in 2014. While unemployment in Spain fell for the first time in two years in the second quarter, net job creation requires at least 1 percent year-on-year economic growth, Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said this month. That level wont be reached before the final quarter of 2014, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Social Tragedy Unemployment in Europe is a social tragedy and we need to address it, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria said in July when presenting the organizations annual employment outlook . Siemens AG (SIE) , Europes largest engineering company, will eliminate 15,000 jobs, the Munich-based corporation said on Sept. 29. It initially planned some 8,000 cuts globally, a person familiar with the program told Bloomberg News in October.

Last week was a landmark when SIA moved aggressively into the market with what it acknowledged were its first real el cheapo fares in its 2014 Earlybird offerings between Australia and Europe. Our Earlybird 2014 offer is by far the lowest fares we have offered to date, a spokeswoman for SIA south-west Pacific vice-president Subhas Menon said. Earlybird has long been a cornerstone of our pricing strategy, as it helps ensure we have strong base loads for the year ahead. This is why we have never hesitated to be bold and grab the market’s attention and reinforce our superior product and service offering. Actually the folks at SIA are stretching it with that last sentence. Because of SIAs service excellence and, importantly, the consistency of service excellence, where competitors have struggled to make service standards uniform they have always had the brand strength to park their rates up to $1000 return more than the price leaders on the long haul from Australia to Europe. Not any more. Super-aggressive discounting from Chinese carriers like China Southern has forced SIA to drop its Earlybird rates to Europe to below $1500 return from Australia for the first time. China Southerns rates are starting to look a bit like those of AirAsia X, which grabbed the headlines three years ago with rates from Australia to Europe of less than $1000. Of course, the AirAsia X option no longer exists because the low-cost pricing model of offering fares below cost as a market stimulant doesnt work unless there is enough demand to fill most of the seats at much higher rates. China Southern this month dropped its fares for travel from Australia to Amsterdam to around $1287 quoted by some agents from Melbourne and slightly more from Sydney. But that offer was seasonal, applying only to the low season through the northern winter and into spring, expiring in June. SIA upped the ante by making its Earlybird rates non-seasonal, applying right through until November 2014.

Europe’s hail storms hit insurers with $4.7 bln bill

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