In Brief

Cyprus jobless rate rises in August Unemployment in Cyprus rose in August, as the global recession continued to hurt construction and trade-related business, while the rate of increase in jobless numbers jumped, ending a two-month decline. The number of people out of work on the eastern Mediterranean island rose almost 65 percent to 17,788 from 10,801 a year earlier, the Nicosia-based Cyprus Statistical Service (CSS) said in a statement on its website yesterday. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the unemployment rate increased 4.1 percent in August as compared to July, the CSS added. «The trend of the registered unemployed, which seemed to have stabilized during the previous three months, showed upward movement in August,» the statement said. The Cypriot economy, the euro region’s second-smallest, contracted in the quarter through June as hotel occupancy and restaurant sales fell after fewer visitors, the CSS said on August 13. (Bloomberg) Serbia gets ready to cut public sector Serbia’s government is preparing to cut the size of the public sector and curb spending after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) delayed a $1-billion bailout loan payment, Economy Minister Mladjan Dinkic said. The IMF on September 1 postponed a decision on the second tranche of its $4.3-billion loan until October. The fund wants «credible» signs the government will commit to budget cuts, IMF mission head Albert Jaeger said in an interview. «Not only will we prepare draft laws that will allow the rationalization of the public sector but we will also open a social dialogue and seek the opposition’s opinion,» Dinkic said in an interview yesterday. «The government will not be sitting idly by.» The Washington-based IMF aims to ensure Serbia is committed to curbing a ballooning budget deficit as tax revenues wane after the economy shrank for the first time in at least seven years in the first quarter. Hungary, Romania, Belarus and Latvia also received aid to cope with the global financial crisis. (Bloomberg) Spanish tourism The Spanish government said yesterday it expects to see a 10-percent drop this year in the number of foreign tourists in the country, the world’s third most popular holiday destination. «We expect a fall in international tourism of around 10 percent this year,» Secretary of State for Tourism Joan Mesquida told Spanish national radio. However, he noted that domestic tourism had held up, even though the country entered a recession in late 2008. «Spaniards have not given up their holidays. The domestic market has performed in a very similar way to last year,» Mesquida said. The tourism sector accounts for about 11 percent of Spain’s jobs and gross domestic product. (AFP) European debt France and Spain issued a total of 12.3 billion euros in government bonds yesterday, with the sale of the Spanish 2011 bond in particular drawing very strong demand. The tenders came in a weaker eurozone government bond market and after a week of cheapening of French and Spanish issues versus Bunds, but before a European Central Bank rate-setting decision. (Reuters)