The annual Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) rate in December 2021 reached 4.8 per cent, primarily fueled by rising energy prices, equaling the respective level of October 2008.

According to data released by the Cyprus Statistical Service (Cystat), the index, between January and December of 2021, reached 2.3 per cent year-on-year, while in December it declined by 0.3 per cent compared with the previous month of 2021.

Compared to December 2020, the largest changes took place in housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (15.8 per cent) and transport (13.7 per cent).

The largest annual change observed in December of 2021 were in energy, which soared by 28 per cent.

Energy declined by 1.6 per cent month-on-month in December.

The total employment in the public sector reached 48,120 people by the end of September 2021, according to a report by the Ministry of Finance, reflecting an 8 per cent decrease from 2011.

Compared to the end of 2020, the total employment in the public sector recorded an increase of 1.07 per cent.

The number of permanent staff in government ministries, departments and public services (excluding the healthcare sector) at the end of September 2021, amounted to 8,895 people.

Moreover, the number of temporary staff came up to 3,482 people, showing an increase of 22 per cent when compared to 2011.

In addition, total employment in the Ministry of Health amounted to 5,035 people at the end of September 2021.

Finally, total employment in education came up to 13,951 members of staff, representing the largest employment group in the public sector.

The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) ended Friday, January 21 with losses.

The main Cyprus Stock Market Index was at 69.20 points at 13:06 during the day, reflecting a drop of 0.76 per cent over the previous day of trading.

The FTSE / CySE 20 Index was at 41.45 points, which represents a decrease of 0.74 per cent.

The total value of transactions came up to a lowly €18,230.

In terms of the sub-indexes, the main and alternative indexes declined by 1.02 per cent and 0.1 per cent respectively.

The hotel index also dropped by 0.08 per cent, while investment firms fell by 2.29 per cent.

The biggest investment interest was attracted by the Bank of Cyprus (-1.83 per cent), Logicom (no change), Amathus (-0.51 per cent), the Cyprus Cement Company (no change) and Hellenic Bank (-0.48 per cent).