Unemployment rates in the European Union and eurozone have dropped to record lows. But economic growth and inflation figures showed European economies were slowing down just as the US-China trade war accelerates.
The European Union's statistical office Eurostat on Wednesday reported the EU's lowest unemployment rate since records began in 2000.
The EU unemployment rate dropped to 6.3% in June, making it the "lowest rate recorded" in the bloc.
The eurozone, which comprises the 19 member states of the euro monetary union, dropped to 7.5%. Eurostat described it as "the lowest rate recorded in the euro area" since the 2008 financial crisis.
However, figures also pointed to a sluggish economic growth across the bloc. The EU and Eurozone grew by 0.2% during the second quarter of 2019. Inflation dropped from 1.3% in June to 1.1% in July.
An economist at the London-based Capital Economics consultancy said the data would likely play a major role in the ECB's decision on whether to announce "stimulus measures."
"While economic weakness had previously been concentrated in Germany and Italy, the national data available so far show that the slowdown in Q2 was broad based," Jack Allen Reynolds told Agence France-Presse news agency.
The US-China trade war has sent financial shock waves throughout the global economy, with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) downgrading its outlook earlier this month.
"Potential triggers" could further drag down the global economy, including a no-deal Brexit and tariffs on European autos, the IMF said.
ls/rt (AFP, dpa)