Business: Albania, Cyprus register economic growth


Albania and Cyprus were the only European countries to see economic growth in the first quarter. Also in business news: the 34th edition of the Cyprus International Fair begins in late May, and the European Investment Bank approves a 400m-euro loan to Ford Romania.

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The IMF announced on Monday (May 11th) Albania and Cyprus are the only countries in Europe that recorded economic growth in the first quarter of 2009. In its latest report, the IMF said Albania and Cyprus recorded increases of 0.4% and 0.3%, respectively.


The 34th edition of the Cyprus International Fair will be held in Nicosia in late May, CNA reported on Tuesday (May 12th). More than 1,000 companies from Cyprus and 20 foreign countries, including Greece, Romania, Spain, Syria and the United States will showcase their products and services at the fair. The event will promote a number of business sectors -- including homes and design, machinery and high technology.


The European Investment Bank approved on Tuesday (May 12th) a 400m-euro loan to Ford Romania to fund production of more energy-efficient vehicles. Last January, Ford said it intends to invest in modernisation of the Craiova-based factory to reach an annual production of 300,000 engines starting in 2011.


The international credit rating agency Fitch Ratings has downgraded Greece's outlook to negative from stable over further fiscal deterioration, the news site reported on Tuesday (May 12th). Fitch affirmed the country's foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) at "A" and its short-term foreign currency IDR at "F1".


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Bulgarian Economy Minister Petar Dimitrov predicted on Wednesday (May 13th) that the economy will contract 3% to 4% in the first quarter of 2009, ahead of official statistics due on Friday (May 15th). Forecasts by local economists go hand in hand with Dimitrov's latest statement, mostly because of reduced growth in the services sector.


There were 263,785 registered unemployed in Croatia in April, an increase of 7.6% year on year, the national employment service announced on May 8th. Compared to March, though, unemployment fell 1.3%, reflecting the characteristic April increase in seasonal employment.

(Various sources – 08/05/09-15/05/09)

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