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General economic indicators

Real gross domestic product

The gross domestic product of the euro area measures economic performance and the production of goods and services after the deduction of intermediate goods. Since revisions were made to the national accounts, the real figures have been calculated as a Laspeyres chain index at previous-year prices and are reported with the reference year 2005 = 100. The percentage changes of this index are the central indicators for economic growth in the euro area.

Industrial output

The production index measures the change in the volume of monthly output of manufacturing, mining and energy compared with the base year 2005. Owing to its frequency, its ready availability and the detailed breakdown by economic sector, it is a pivotal and up-to-date indicator of economic development.

The latest monthly production indices are provisional and still contain estimates.

Capacity utilisation in industry

The data on capacity utilisation (as a percentage of full capacity) of industry in the euro area are collected on a quarterly basis by the European Commission, Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs, as part of the harmonised economic surveys in the European Union. National bodies/institutions carry out these surveys on behalf of the European Commission in all member states at various enterprises, the number of which is specific to the country. The survey results are weighted and summarised.

Unemployment rate

The standardised unemployment rate is the percentage share of unemployed persons among the civilian labour force (including military personnel living off-base). According to the criteria of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), persons between 15 and 74 years are counted as unemployed if they are without work, could start working within the next two weeks and have actively been looking for work in the previous four weeks. Civilian employed and unemployed persons are counted as the civilian labour force. The primary basis for the estimate of the monthly number of unemployed persons and the unemployment rate are the figures taken from the quarterly labour force survey of the Community, an EU-wide standard household survey.

Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices

Consumer price indices measure the average price change of all goods and services that are bought by households for consumption purposes during the respective reporting period compared with the base year. The Harmonised Indices of Consumer Prices (HICP) of all member states of the euro area, which are calculated according to an EU-wide harmonised approach and standard definitions, are incorporated into the Monetary Union Index of Consumer Prices (MUICP), which is calculated and published by the Statistical Office of the European Communities (Eurostat). The indices are of the Laspeyres type and are calculated as chain indices with annually changing weights. The reference year is 2005 = 100. The percentage changes compared with the previous year’s MUICP are used by the Eurosystem as a measure of inflation in the euro area.

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