The SPD received 25.7 % of the vote in the German legislative elections. The conservative CDU/CSU alliance finished second with 24.1 % of the vote, a record low after 16 years of Merkel’s governments. Possible coalitions will be sought now.
The European Union’s Court of Justice fined Poland 500,000 euros per day for failing to halt mining at the Turów brown coal mine on the Czech-German border. Warsaw must pay the financial penalty until it complies with the court’s spring order and work at the mine is completed. PGE’s CEO, who owns the mine, stated that he disagreed with the court’s judgment on the penalties and that mining would continue at the site.
The European Commission seeks to accelerate societal digitization while also strengthening cybersecurity. It wants to accomplish this by substantially investing in digitization, better preparing people for technological transformation, luring IT specialists to the EU, and strengthening cooperation with the private sector, all while establishing acceptable laws.
Seasonally adjusted GDP climbed by 2.1 % in the EU in the second quarter of 2021 compared to the previous quarter. GDP in the EU fell by 0.1 % in the first quarter of 2021. Seasonally adjusted GDP climbed by 13.8 % in the EU in the second quarter of 2021, compared to the same quarter the previous year, after falling by -1.2 % the previous quarter. Ireland (+6.3%) had the highest GDP growth rate compared to the previous quarter, followed by Portugal (+4.9%) and Latvia (+4.4%). Malta (-0.5 % ) and Croatia (-0.5 % ) saw decreases (-0.2 % ).
In August 2021, the EU unemployment rate was 6.8 % , down from 6.9 % in July 2021 and 7.7 % in August 2020. According to Eurostat, 14.469 million men and women in the EU will be unemployed in August 2021. The number of unemployed people in the EU fell by 224 000 in July 2021, and by 261 000 in the eurozone. The Czech Republic had the lowest unemployment rate in August (2.9%), followed by Malta and the Netherlands (both 3.2%), while Spain and Greece had the highest (14%) and 15%, respectively (13,2 % ).
In August 2021, annual inflation in the EU was 3.2 % , up from 2.5 % in July. The rate was 0.4 % a year ago. Malta (0.4 % ) and Greece had the lowest annual rates (1.2 % ). Estonia, Lithuania, and Poland had the highest annual rates (all 5.0 % ). Annual inflation remained constant in one Member State and climbed in twenty-six others when compared to July.
Hourly labor costs in the EU increased by 0.6 % in the second quarter of 2021, compared to the same quarter the previous year. Hourly labor costs grew by 1.6 % in the first quarter of 2021. Wages and salaries are the two largest components of labor costs, followed by non-wage costs. In the second quarter of 2021, the cost of hourly wages and salaries climbed by 0.2 % in the EU, while the non-wage component increased by 2.0 % . The yearly change in earnings and salaries was +2.4 % in the first quarter of 2021, while the non-wage component was -1.0 % .