Estonia’s unemployment up 27.1 pct compared to last year

Compared to the previous May, unemployment grew 27.1 pct. 

There were 16,819 unemployed persons registered in Estonian Labor Market Board in May. That forms 2.6 pct of all employable population aged from 16 to retirement age, Päevaleht Online writes.

Compared to this April, the number of unemployed people has fallen. In May, there were 479 registered unemployed persons less than in April.

Unemployment rate was highest in Valga county and lowest in Tartu county.

Source: BBN

New owner to convert Tallinn Hippodrome to real estate development

Jaan Manitski who owns the area under the current Tallinn Hippodrome plans to convert it into a real estate development.

Today’s Postimees writes that Manitski who is expatriate Estonian who made millions as a manager of ABBA pop group has already contracted an architectural design bureau to develop the area into an estate of apartment buildings and offices.

Viktor Kaasik who represents Manitski says that the plan is to relocate the Hippodrome to Saku municipality where Manitski wants to open Europe’s best hippodrome.

Source: BBN

Microsoft to set up a development centre in Estonia

One of the world’s largest software makers Microsoft plans to open a software development centre in Estonia, today’s Postimees writes.

Rain Laane, CEO of Microsoft in Estonia, said that the innovation centre would be opened this autumn. “We have been developing this project for several months, and decided to announce it now,” he said.

Siim Kiisler, Minister of Regional Affairs, said yesterday that Estonia has become known as a high-tech country because of such innovations and developments as Skype and the world’s first online voting.

“We have a reputation, but we have failed to profit from it. While at present the Estonian IT industry exports less than a billion kroons, this amount could easily be doubled in a few years,” said Kiisler.

Source: BBN

Lithuanian May inflation rate rises to 12 pct

Lithuania’s inflation accelerated in May to the fastest in more than 11 years on rising housing and food costs, Bloomberg reports.

The annual rate, the third highest in the European Union, rose to 12 pct from 11.7 pct in April, the Vilnius-based statistics office said today. Prices rose a monthly 0.8 pct, led by rising transport costs, compared with a 1.2 pct increase in April.

Accelerating inflation and signs that the economy may be overheating have forced the government to shift its focus away from preparing for euro adoption. The only EU members with higher consumer-price growth are Latvia and Bulgaria. Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas said on June 4 that he is worried about the current pace of inflation.

Housing expenses such as water and gas, the second biggest item in the consumer basket, rose the most in May, accelerating an annual 18.6 pct, the statistics office said. Food prices, the biggest item in the consumer basket with a 26 pct weighting, rose an annual 18.1 pct.

Lithuania meets all the requirements for euro adoption, except for inflation. Countries planning to make the currency switch need to cap inflation to within 1.5 percentage points of the 12-month average inflation rate of the three EU nations with the slowest price growth.

Source: BBN

Latvian May inflation rate rises to 17.9 pct on food and gas

Latvia’s May inflation rate rose to the highest in 12 years, led by food and gas costs, Bloomberg reports.

The rate, the highest in the 27-nation European Union, jumped to 17.9 pct from 17.5 pct in April, the Statistical Office said today. In the month, consumer prices rose 0.9 pct.

Latvia’s economy is faltering as consumer-price growth saps consumers’ spending power. Inflation is more than five times faster than the average rate of the 15 nations that share the euro, while the economy expanded an annual 3.3 pct in the first quarter, compared with 8.1 pct in the previous three months.

Food prices grew 21.6 pct and transport costs rose 12.3 pct, compared with May 2007, the statistics office said. Gas prices grew 4.4 pct on the month, with diesel costs growing 6.4 pct, the office said.

Source: BBN