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Cyprus eventually produces fiscal surplus of 0.4 pct after 8 years

Xinhua, April 24, 2017 Adjust font size:

Bailed-out Cyprus generated a fiscal surplus of 64.4 million euros (70 million U.S. dollars), or 0.4 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP), last year after posting fiscal deficits in the previous eight years, the Statistical Service of Cyprus said Monday.

The surplus was the result of a 1.5-percent increase in revenue in 2016 to over seven billion euros and a 2.4-percent drop in spending, mostly in the public payroll, the statistical service said.

The government's latest estimate in October was a fiscal deficit of 0.3 percent in 2016, but the performance of the economy, mainly in the tourist sector and the construction sector, helped reverse the projection.

Cyprus, which was bailed-out in a 10-billion-euro economic assistance package offered by the Eurogroup and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2013, had produced fiscal shortfalls of 208.9 million euros in 2015, or 1.2 percent of economic output, and 1.5 billion euros or 8.8 percent of economic output in 2014.

But this was mostly due to capital assistance offered to the Cooperative Central Bank network which was nationalized after finding itself in trouble.

Eurostat, the statistical service of the European Union (EU), said on Monday in data published in Brussels, that Cyprus was among the top fiscal achievers in the 19-member eurozone, being in fifth place alongside the Netherlands.

The leaders in fiscal surplus were Luxembourg with 1.6 percent, Malta with 1.0 percent, Germany with 0.8 percent, and bailed out Greece with 0.7 percent. Endit