ECONOMY

In Brief

Inflation falls below 3 percent Greek inflation rose 2.9 percent year-on-year in September, the National Statistics Service said yesterday. The increase was less than in August when inflation rose 3.5 percent year-on-year, and in July, when it was up 3.8 percent. Lower oil prices helped slow the rate of inflation with the transportation sub-index declining 1.5 percent from a year earlier. However, the cost of housing and food rose on a year-on-year basis. Accommodation costs jumped 7.4 percent from a year earlier – the biggest increase in any category of the consumer price basket. Food prices rose 4.7 percent from a year earlier. The Greek government is trying to hold inflation at 3.2 percent for 2006. (AP) Greece can meet EU budget rules: Almunia BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Greece could meet an EU limit on its budget deficit in 2006 and 2007 even without a recent increase in the estimated size of the Greek economy, European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said. Greece last week announced a 2007 budget to cut the deficit below the 3 percent-of-GDP EU limit and avoid sanctions after under-reporting the figure to Brussels for years. The 2007 budget aims for a deficit of 2.4 percent of GDP. Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis has said next year’s deficit target will not rely on upwardly revised GDP figures including parts of Greece’s informal economy and which is expected to give national output a 25 percent boost. Budget Budget revenue was up 8.3 percent in the January-September period year-on-year, against an annual target of 8.9 percent, the Finance Ministry said yesterday. Tax revenue grew at a clip of 6.8 percent, against a target of 6.5 percent. About 30 percent of firms inspected in various parts of the country between September 25 and October 1 were found in violation of tax regulations. Bulgarian wind park US energy firm AES will take part in a 170-million-euro ($216.1 million) wind power park project on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, the company said yesterday. The 120 megawatt park near the Black Sea town of Kavarna is a joint venture with German-Bulgarian firm Geo Power, in which AES will have a minority stake. «We hope the wind park becomes operational sometime in 2008,» an AES spokeswoman said. The company did not say how much its involvement was worth. The energy produced from the park is expected to save some 250,000 to 280,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year, AES said. AES has also launched the construction of a $1.4 billion coal-fired power plant, the country’s largest investment since the 1989 fall of communism. (Reuters)