ECONOMY

Cyprus’s healthy growth

NICOSIA (Reuters) – Cyprus’s economy grew 3.9 percent year-on-year in the first quarter in real terms, led by construction, real estate and the financial services sectors, the statistics department said yesterday. On a quarter-on-quarter basis, gross domestic product expanded by 0.8 percent, it said. The statistics department also adjusted the 2004 fourth-quarter GDP growth to 3.3 percent year-on-year from a previous estimate of 3.1 percent, and the quarter-on-quarter growth over that period to 1.1 percent, from a previous 1.0 percent reading. Unemployment eased to its lowest point this year at 3.1 percent in May from 3.2 percent in April, helped by the cyclical rebound in tourism. In numerical terms 10,491 people were unemployed. EU-harmonized inflation slowed to 2.0 percent year-on-year in May from 2.8 percent in April, the statistics service said. A breakdown showed price trends broadly stable on last year, with the largest cost of living increases registered in household utility bills, and clothing and footwear.