ECONOMY

In Brief

Building permits in Cyprus increase The number of building permits issued in Cyprus, the euro region’s second-smallest economy, increased in the first quarter, as builders prepared for an eventual rise in the East-Mediterranean island’s real-estate market. The number of permits, a leading indicator of future construction, rose 2.6 percent from a year earlier to 2,180, the Nicosia-based National Statistics Service said yesterday in a statement on its website. The total value of the permits increased 5.2 percent to 808,346 euros ($1.1 million) and the number of planned dwelling units covered by the permits rose 3.4 percent to 4,553, according to the statement. Final approval permits and certificates for newly built properties on Cyprus can take as long as 36 months to obtain once construction has been completed. Cyprus forecasts budget shortfalls until at least 2013, given a slowdown in the real-estate industry, according to the island nation’s 2008-2012 stability program, published in February. (Bloomberg) Bulgarian inflation slows in May to 3.9 percent SOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgaria’s consumer price inflation slowed to 3.9 percent year-on-year in May from 4.8 percent a month earlier, the statistics office said yesterday. On a monthly basis, consumer prices fell 0.3 percent from a 0.7-percent increase in April, the data showed. The Socialist-led government expects consumer price growth to ease to about 2.5 percent at the end of the year, as domestic demand slumps due to the global economic downturn. Transelectrica rises Transelectrica SA, Romania’s state-owned power-transmission grid operator, had its share-price estimate increased at Raiffeisen Zentralbank Osterreich AG for a second time in two weeks. Transelectrica’s 12-month share price estimate was raised 7.3 percent to 14.7 lei from 13.7 lei due to a «lower cost of equity,» the bank said in an e-mailed research note. Raiffeisen increased Transelectrica’s share price estimate on May 29 by 7.9 percent to 13.7 lei on plans to cut costs to offset reduced electricity demand. (Bloomberg) Passenger traffic Pegasus Airlines, a Turkish low-cost carrier, said domestic passengers rose 29 percent in the first four months of the year compared to the same period last year. International passengers rose 16 percent over the same period, Pegasus Chairman Ali Sabanci told reporters yesterday in Istanbul. The airline carried about 200,000 domestic and 600,000 international passengers in the first four months of the year, CEO Sertac Haybat said. (Bloomberg) Latvia safe Latvia said yesterday it had staved off bankruptcy by sharp new cuts in public spending, after desperate efforts to meet the terms of an international bailout to ease one of Europe’s bitterest recessions. «With Thursday’s decisions, the state has really been saved from bankruptcy,» Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis said on Latvian radio after a late-night cabinet session.(AFP)