The Price Index of Construction Materials increased by 17.1 per cent during December of 2021, compared to the corresponding month of the previous year, rising to 119.66 points (based on 2015 = 100), according to the Cyprus Statistical Service (Cystat).

The largest increase was recorded in metal products with 30.17 per cent. The sub-category of iron and steel products alone rose by 40.45 per cent year-on-year.

An increase of 19.04 per cent was also recorded in products wood products, insulation, chemicals and plastics.

Electromechanical items increased by 13.02 per cent, mineral products by 5.41 per cent and minerals by 4.75 per cent.

The annual Price Index for construction materials for 2021 came up to 112.06 units (based on 2015 = 100).

For the period between January and December of 2021, the index recorded an increase of 10.98 per cent compared to the corresponding period of 2020.

This increase in the index in 2021 has been mainly attributed to the rise of construction steel (46.56 per cent), building iron (44.34 per cent), copper pipes (32.78 per cent), steel pipes (32.69 per cent) and iron railings (30.28 per cent).

There were also increases in structural mesh (27.06 per cent), paving asphalt (26.54 per cent), cables (24.64 per cent) and raw (sawn) wood (22.71 per cent).

On a monthly basis, December saw a 0.63 per cent rise over November.

Employers have expressed great interest in hiring unemployed people from the local labour pool, Department of Labour director Alexandros Alexandrou told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) on Tuesday.

“We received 1,319 applications until January 17,” Alexandrou said, explaining that the objective is to place 1,450 unemployed people back into the labour market.

According to Alexandrou, there are currently five different incentive schemes for the hiring of unemployed people, all coordinated and implemented by the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance, with a total budget of €14.5 million.

“The budgeted amount has not been covered yet as we have the opportunity to receive another 150 applications in total,” Alexandrou said.

The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) ended Wednesday, January 19 with profits.

The main Cyprus Stock Market Index was at 69.4 points at 13:19 during the day, reflecting a rise of 0.29 per cent over the previous day of trading.

The FTSE / CySE 20 Index was at 41.55 points, which represents an increase of 0.22 per cent.

The total value of transactions came up to a lowly €64,244.48.

In terms of the sub-indexes, the main and alternative indexes rose by 0.07 per cent and 0.76 per cent respectively.

In addition, the hotel index increased by 0.07 per cent, while investment firms jumped by 1.4 per cent.

The biggest investment interest was attracted by the Bank of Cyprus (-0.47 per cent), Hellenic Bank (-2.12 per cent), Demetra Holdings (+1.53 per cent), Louis Plc (+14.97 per cent) and Amathus (no change).