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Cyprus economy records highest growth in 10 years

Jamaica Observer / NICOSIA, Cyprus (AFP) — Bailed-out eurozone member Cyprus recorded its best growth in a decade last year, official data showed yesterday, on the back of record tourist arrivals and a resurgence in construction. The Mediterranean island’s GDP expanded by four per cent in 2017, up from three per cent growth in 2016.

In the last three months of 2017, Cyprus notched up its 12th consecutive quarter in positive growth with GDP rising 1.1 per cent, the statistical service said.

It reported positive growth rates in manufacturing, trade, hotels and restaurants, and construction.

Last year, Cyprus smashed its record for annual tourist arrivals.

In 2015, Cyprus exited a three-year recession that was triggered by a banking crisis and near economic meltdown.

The country’s economy almost collapsed in 2013, but it has remained in positive territory since the first quarter of 2015, and is one of the fastest-growing economies in Europe.

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 — relatively quickly — in 2016.

Earlier this month, the European Commission said growth would ease slightly in 2018 and 2019, to 3.2 per cent and 2.8 per cent respectively.

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