Italy’s unemployment rate is now at its highest point since the third quarter of 2006, which could weigh down its exchange traded funds (ETFs).
The rate rose to 6.5%, report Robin Pomeroy and Gavin Jones for Reuters. Economists had put their estimates around 6.1%. Italy’s economy minister Giulio Tremonti said last week that the economy would grow about 0.5% this year, down slightly from the previous prediction of 0.6%.
In France, the unemployment is at 7.2% – but it’s the lowest level there in 25 years.
One economist says that growth in Italy has apparently stopped, and the unemployment situation is likely to continue to get worse.
Italy also approved a tax on oil companies so it could fund aid for low-income households hit hardest by the rising food and energy prices, reports The Associated Press. Tremonti says the money from the tax will be used partly to assist senior citizens in paying for food and electricity.
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