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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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SOME 10 days ago, foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides raised expectations by announcing the possibility of a deal with Turkey for the opening of the fenced off area of Famagusta, for the return of its inhabitants. In exchange the Cyprus government would agree to the opening of Tymbou airport to direct flights. ...
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By George Psyllides PRIVATE auditors have expressed doubt the electricity authority (EAC) could be considered a going concern and have asked its board to draft a credible plan to tackle the problem, according to the auditor-general’s 2012 report on the semi-state company. Among other issues, ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ U.S. jobless on benefits at record high ]

U.S. jobless on benefits at record high

U.S. jobless on benefits at record high
U.S. workers on continued jobless benefits reach record
February 19, 2009 - By Lucia Mutikani (Reuters)

The number of U.S. workers drawing unemployment aid jumped to a record high in early February according to data on Thursday that highlighted the deteriorating labor market as a 13-month recession deepens.

A separate report showed prices received by U.S. producers rose last month, breaking a five straight month declining trend as energy costs rebounded.

The number of people remaining on the benefits rolls after drawing an initial week of aid surged 170,000 to 4.99 million in the week ended Feb 7, the most recent week for which the data is available, the Labor Department said.

That was the highest reading on records dating back to 1967. Analysts had estimated so-called continued claims would be 4.86 million from a previously reported 4.81 million the prior week.

"We're maintaining a high level of labor market deterioration. In general I think we're moving towards the pace of maximum contraction in the economy, but evidence for that is only preliminary," said Alan Levenson, chief economist at T. Rowe Price in Baltimore.

U.S. equity index futures pared gains after jobless data. U.S. Treasury debt prices and the U.S. dollar held losses.

The U.S. economy, in recession since December 2007, is buckling under a heavy burden of rising unemployment as companies try to slash costs to deal with sagging demand.

The aggressive layoffs and the accompanying job insecurity mean that households, whose net worth has already been eroded by the collapse of the housing and stock markets, will further cut on spending and creating a vicious cycle for the bleeding economy.

Initial claims for state unemployment insurance benefits were a seasonally adjusted 627,000 in the week ended Feb. 14 unchanged from the previous week. According to Labor Department data, new claims hovered close to a 26-year high.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast 620,000 new claims.

In another report, the department said the producer price index rose 0.8 percent in January, rising for the first-time since July, compared to a 1.9 percent drop in December.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a 0.2 percent rise in the overall index. However, compared to the same period last year, the producer price index fell 1 percent, the largest decline since October 2006.

Core producer prices, excluding food and energy costs, rose 0.4 percent in January, also above market expectations for an increase of 0.1 percent. Core PPI rose 0.2 percent in December.

"I wouldn't get excited about core being up 0.4 percent as a sign of stagflation. I think there are some anomalies and that we will be in a deflationary environment for several months," said Kevin Flanagan, fixed income strategist at Morgan Stanley in Purchase, New York.

Compared to the same period a year ago, core producer prices were up 4.2 percent.

Energy prices surged 3.7 percent in January, halting five months of declines. Gasoline prices jumped 15 percent, the biggest increase since November 2007.

(Source: Financial Mirror,

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