ing from 152 million euros in H1 of 2014 to 295 million in January-June 2015. Olive oil accounted for 57 percent of the value of Cretan products heading abroad, according to the Exporters’ Association of Crete.
Romanian central bank governor Mugur Isarescu refused to say whether the bank had ended its ratecutting cycle after it kept its benchmark interest rate on hold yesterday, and said it could still lower minimum reserve requirements. The bank kept interest rates at a record low 1.75 percent for the third consecutive time, in what Isarescu said was a prudent stance given the uncertainty over the domestic fiscal outlook as well as external factors. Asked whether rate cuts had ended, Isarescu said, “I don’t deny it, nor confirm it.” The government cut value-added tax for food items in June, driving inflation down 1.9 percent on the year in August, and plans further tax cuts and public sector wage increases as it gears up for a parliamentary election next year. That is likely to keep prices well below the central bank’s 1.5-3.5 target this year and next, but consumption-friendly lower VAT and fuel prices could lead to inflationary pressures in the medium term, Isarescu said.
Sweet and sour. Athens-listed Hellenic Sugar Industry yesterday announced that its annual losses had increased by 30 percent in the July 2014 to June 2015 period, to 72.47 million euros, against 49.89 million a year earlier. The company’s turnover dropped 20.53 percent year-on-year to 80.67 million euros.