Euro area annual inflation was 0.8% in January 2014, stable compared to December 2013. A year earlier the rate was 2.0%. Monthly inflation was -1.1% in January 2014. European Union annual inflation was 0.9% in January 2014, down from 1.0% in December 2013. A year earlier the rate was 2.1%. Monthly inflation was -0.9% in January 2014.
Vacancy trends in the European labour market indicate a widening gap in job opportunities between Northern and Southern countries. The latest issue of the European Vacancy Monitor (EVM) reveals a shortage of labour supply in countries such as Austria, Denmark Sweden, Estonia and Latvia, while competition for jobs is increasing in countries such as Greece, Slovakia and Spain. The report also highlights the strengths and weaknesses in the recruitment markets of four Southern countries, and warns that more measures are needed to help young people find skilled jobs and, therefore, boost labour productivity. The Monitor confirms stagnation in labour demand in the EU in the second quarter of 2013, except for a small increase in the number of job vacancies in the public sector. Overall, recruitment fell by 4%, a larger decline than in the previous quarter. Hiring increased in less than half the countries over the period.