Sunbeds lying at the beach ready for tourists in the resort town of Ayia Napa in southeastern Cyprus
Nicosia (AFP) - Cyprus on Tuesday hailed new GDP figures as proof that its economy will keep growing and create conditions for full employment within three years, having bounced back from near bankruptcy in 2013.
Bailed out eurozone member Cyprus notched up its 13th consecutive quarter in positive growth with GDP rising 0.8 percent in the first three months of 2018, latest official estimates showed.
Seasonally adjusted data showed that Q1 growth was slightly down from the 1.1 percent growth in the previous quarter, while year-on-year the economy grew 3.8 percent in Q1.
“At this pace, it will only be a matter of time, in two or three years, that we will have full employment conditions in Cyprus,” government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou told reporters.
“The growth rate of GDP for the first quarter confirms the dynamics of the economy and shows that it is possible we will have 4 percent growth this year.”
Prodromou said the jobs sector would grow 3.5 percent this year and that unemployment had fallen to 9.1 percent in March, after having peaked at above 16 percent in 2013.
The Mediterranean holiday island’s economy almost collapsed in 2013 but it has remained in positive territory since Q4 2014, and Cyprus now has one of the fastest growing economies in Europe, spearheaded by its crucial tourism sector.
The troika of international lenders – the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund – bailed out Cyprus for 10 billion euros in March 2013 to prevent a banking collapse.
Cyprus in return agreed to a harsh austerity programme but the country exited from the bailout in 2016.