EXME 13 / 16.08
16 / 08 / 13
Euro area annual inflation was 1.6% in July 2013, stable compared with June. A year earlier the rate was 2.4%. Monthly inflation was -0.5% in July 2013. European Union annual inflation was 1.7% in July 2013, stable compared with June. A year earlier the rate was 2.5%. Monthly inflation was -0.4% in July 2013.
In July 2013, the lowest annual rates were observed in Greece (-0.5%), Bulgaria (0.0%) and Denmark (0.4%), and the highest in Estonia (3.9%), Romania (3.4%) and the Netherlands (3.1%). Compared with June 2013, annual inflation fell in seventeen Member States, remained stable in two and rose in nine. The lowest 12-month average rates up to July 2013 were registered in Greece (0.1%), Sweden (0.7%) and Latvia (0.8%), and the highest in Romania (4.5%), Estonia (3.9%) and Croatia (3.7%).
The European Union today requested the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to rule over a dispute concerning Chinese anti-dumping duties imposed on imports of high-performance stainless steel seamless tubes (“HP-SSST”) from the EU. The EU believes the Chinese anti-dumping duties are incompatible with WTO law, both on procedural and on substantive grounds. "The EU continues its fight against unjustified Chinese trade defence measures, which do not comply with WTO rules and often seem to be motivated by retaliation. The Chinese case was brought shortly after a European case against Chinese steel imports. Given its obvious technical weaknesses, we are confident that the WTO will support our claims against these anti-dumping duties" said EU Trade Spokesman John Clancy.
The European Commission is inviting comments from interested parties on commitments offered by the German railway incumbent Deutsche Bahn (DB) regarding its pricing system for traction current in Germany. Traction current is electricity used to power locomotives.
DB Energie, the DB subsidiary providing traction current to railway companies, is the only traction current supplier in Germany. The Commission has concerns that DB Energie's pricing system, and in particular discounts that only railway companies of the DB Group can achieve fully, may have hampered the development of competition on the markets for rail freight and long-distance passenger transport, in breach of EU antitrust rules.
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the creation of a joint venture between the Spanish telecommunications operator Telefónica and two Spanish banks, CaixaBank, controlled by La Caixa–Caja de Ahorros, and Banco Santander. The joint venture will develop a virtual community for merchants and consumers in Spain providing services to its members, such as digital advertising and data analytics services to merchants, as well as digital wallet services, with peer-to-peer payment functionality to consumers.
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of the paper distribution business of Xerox in Western Europe by Antalis
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of the paper distribution business of Xerox in Western Europe by Antalis International ("Antalis"), of France. The paper distribution business of Xerox consists of the supply of Xerox branded paper products. Antalis is active in the distribution of fine paper, packaging products and visual communication media; it is part of a group also active in paper manufacturing through the company Arjowiggins. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns, because Antalis and Xerox are not each other's closest competitors and other alternatives would be still available for customers. The transaction was examined under the merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.6947 .
The first estimate for the euro area (EA17) trade in goods balance with the rest of the world in June 2013 gave a 17.3 billion euro surplus, compared with +12.8 bn in June 2012. The May 2013 balance was +14.5 bn, compared with +6.2 bn in May 2012. In June 2013 compared with May 2013, seasonally adjusted exports rose by 3.0% and imports by 2.5%. These data3 are released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
The first estimate for the June 2013 extra-EU27 trade balance was a 9.9 bn euro surplus, compared with -1.0 bn in June 2012. In May 2013 the balance was +15.7 bn, compared with -5.2 bn in May 2012. In June 2013 compared with May 2013, seasonally adjusted exports remained stable and imports rose by 1.8%.
Next Monday, 19th of August, is World Humanitarian Day. As the world's largest donor of humanitarian aid, the European Union shares the concern for humanitarians' safety and their ability to perform their worthy mission. The assistance financed by the European Commission reaches the people who need it thanks to its 200 humanitarian partners which include United Nations agencies, non-governmental bodies and international organisations. Thanks to aid workers, the European Commission is able to deliver on the solidarity of European citizens, the majority of whom support the European Union's assistance to the victims of crises and disasters. Video statement by Commissioner Georgieva: http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/video/player.cfm?ref=I081020 See MEMO/13/741 andMEMO/13/742(both documents will be available online on Sunday 18/08/2013).