Despite a rise in fuel prices contributing to an uptick in inflation from 1.2 per cent in March to 2.4 per cent in April, due to geopolitical developments, food inflation has continued to show signs of moderation.

According to the latest report of the Consumer Protection Service for April 2024, based on its price observatory, food inflation eased to 1.89 per cent from January to April 2024.

This is a slight drop from 2.14 per cent recorded from January to March 2024 and a comparative look at the same period last year.

The primary factor behind this easing was a noticeable reduction of 0.95 per cent in the cost of agricultural products compared to the previous month.

Sectors that are heavily exposed to AI are witnessing a surge in productivity, while AI jobs are also experiencing notable growth, according to a recent report shared by PwC Cyprus on Wednesday.

This comprehensive study, which analysed over half a billion job ads from 15 countries, suggests that AI could enable numerous nations to achieve economic growth, higher wages, and improved living standards.

The report revealed that for every job posting requiring AI specialist skills (like machine learning) in 2012, there are now seven job postings.

Moreover, PwC research also found that growth in jobs demanding AI skills has significantly outpaced all jobs since 2016, growing 3.5 times faster.

The Limassol Boat Show 2024 will take place in May, from 23 to 26 at Limassol Marina, and once again, the largest nautical exhibition in the Eastern Mediterranean is expected to impress and attract thousands of yachts and marine enthusiasts.

Since the early stages of the registration process, the number of entries has exceeded all expectations, with dozens of companies set to present impressive yachts, diving and fishing equipment, remarkable cars, and a wide variety of services in the marine sector.

Among the major innovations at this year’s exhibition is the first presentation in the Eastern Mediterranean of a Lamborghini yacht.

Astrobank announced this week that it is opening a new branch in the Dali area in Nicosia, bucking the trend of shrinking branch networks, noting that this is an underserved location with no existing banking facilities.

This decision was announced by Astrobnak CEO Aristides Vourakis, who noted that if this decision proves to be successful, the bank will consider expanding to other selected areas.

Vourakis also revealed that the bank will seek regulatory approval from the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) to distribute dividends.

He also stated that by July, the ratio of non-performing loans (NPLs) compared to total loans is expected to reach single digits, a significant achievement for the bank.

Deputy Minister of Shipping Marina Hadjimanolis this week met with Greece’s Minister of Shipping and Island Policy Christos Stylianides, with the discussion focusing on the competitiveness of European shipping, the shortage of seafarers, the digitalisation of services, and the maritime passenger connection between Cyprus and Greece.

Moreover, the two sides agreed on practical cooperation to address the challenges facing the shipping industry.

Hadjimanolis highlighted that, as EU member states and members of the International Maritime Organisation Council, “coordination and synergies are crucial in efforts to preserve the sustainability of global shipping, and by extension, the sustainability of our countries’ shipping industries”.

The Cyprus University of Technology (Tepak) and the Polemidia municipality announced on Wednesday that they have agreed to jointly develop a photovoltaic (PV) park with a total capacity of approximately 9 megawatts (MW).

According to a university announcement, the cooperation agreement for the development of the PV park, which will be situated on municipally owned land, was signed on May 13 by Tepakr rector Panayiotis Zafiris and Polemidia mayor Nicos Anastasiou.

“The collaboration aims to meet the energy needs of Tepak, the municipality, and local residents in an environmentally friendly manner by leveraging renewable energy sources (RES),” the announcement said.

The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) ended Wednesday, May 22 with profits.

The general Cyprus Stock Market Index was at 162.22 points at 12:59 during the day, reflecting an increase of 1.17 per cent over the previous day of trading.

The FTSE / CySE 20 Index was at 98.61 points, representing a rise of 1.17 per cent.

The total value of transactions came up to €535,079 until the aforementioned time during trading.

In terms of the sub-indexes, the main and alternative indexes rose by 1.05 per cent and 0.9 per cent respectively. The hotel index grew by 2.76 per cent while the investment firm index fell by 1.03 per cent.

The biggest investment interest was attracted by the Bank of Cyprus (+1.79 per cent), Hellenic Bank (+2 pe cent), Demetra Holdings (-1.02 per cent), the Cyprus Cement Company (+1.89 per cent), and Vassiliko Cement Works Public Company (+0.52 per cent).