Ro­ma­nian rates.

Kathimerini English - - Focus -

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.

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