About Cyprus and Key Financial Statistics

About Cyprus and Key Financial Statistics

Overview of Economy:

The area of the Republic of Cyprus under government control has a market economy dominated by the service sector, which accounts for four-fifths of GDP. Tourism, financial services, and real estate have traditionally been the most important sectors. Cyprus has been a member of the European Union (EU) since May 2004 and adopted the euro as its national currency in January 2008. During the first five years of EU membership, the Cyprus economy grew at an average rate of about 4%, with unemployment between 2004 and 2008 averaging about 4%. However, the economy tipped into recession in 2009 as the ongoing global financial crisis and resulting low demand hit the tourism and construction sectors. An overextended banking sector with excessive exposure to Greek debt added to the contraction. Cyprus’s biggest two banks were among the largest holders of Greek bonds in Europe and had a substantial presence in Greece through bank branches and subsidiaries. Following numerous downgrades of its credit rating, Cyprus lost access to international capital markets in May 2011. In July 2012, Cyprus became the fifth eurozone government to request an economic bailout program from the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund - known collectively as the "Troika."

Shortly after the election of President Nikos ANASTASIADES in February 2013, Cyprus reached an agreement with the Troika on a $10 billion bailout that resulted in losses on uninsured bank deposits. The bailout triggered a two-week bank closure and the imposition of capital controls that were completely withdrawn in April 2015. Cyprus' two largest banks merged and the combined entity was recapitalized through conversion of some large bank deposits to shares and imposition of losses on bank bondholders. As with other EU countries, the Troika conditioned the bailout on passing financial and structural reforms and privatizing state-owned enterprises. Despite downsizing and restructuring, the Cypriot financial sector throughout 2014 remained burdened by the largest stock of non-performing loans (NPLs) in the euro-zone, equal to nearly half of all loans. Since the bailout, Cyprus has received positive appraisals by the Troika but met its first signs of resistance to passing bailout-mandated legislation in 2014. Political disagreements held up passage of contentious legislation required by the Troika to reform bankruptcy rules, delaying disbursal of bailout funds during the second half of the year. In October 2013, a US-Israeli consortium completed preliminary appraisals of hydrocarbon deposits in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ), which revealed an estimated gross mean reserve of about 140 billion cubic meters. Though exploration continues in Cyprus’ EEZ, no additional commercially exploitable reserves were identified during the exploratory drilling in 2014/2015. Nevertheless, developing its offshore hydrocarbon resources remains a critical component to the government’s economic recovery efforts. Industry experts say there may be exploratory and development drilling in 2016 and 2017.

Economy - overview: Even though the whole of the island is part of the EU, implementation of the EU "acquis communautaire" has been suspended in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots, known locally as the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" ("TRNC"), until political conditions permit the reunification of the island. The market-based economy of the TRNC is roughly one-fifth the size of its southern neighbor and is likewise dominated by the service sector with a large portion of the population employed by the government. In 2012 - the latest year for which data are available - the services sector, which includes the public sector, trade, tourism, and education, contributed 58.7% to economic output. In the same year, light manufacturing and agriculture contributed 2.7% and 6.2%, respectively. Manufacturing is limited mainly to food and beverages, furniture and fixtures, construction materials, metal and non-metal products, textiles and clothing. The “TRNC” maintains few economic ties with the Republic of Cyprus outside of trade in construction materials. Since its creation, the "TRNC" has heavily relied on financial assistance from Turkey, which supports the "TRNC" defense, telecommunications, water and postal services. The Turkish Lira is the preferred currency, though foreign currencies are widely accepted in business transactions. The "TRNC" remains vulnerable to the Turkish market and monetary policy because of its use of the Turkish Lira. The "TRNC" weathered the European financial crisis relatively unscathed - compared to the Republic of Cyprus - because of the lack of financial sector development, the health of the Turkish economy, and its separation from the rest of the island. The TRNC economy experienced growth estimated at 2.8% in 2013 and 2.3% in 2014 and is projected to grow 3.8% in 2015.

Gross Domestic Product (In USD):

$27.52 billion (2014 est.)

$28.15 billion (2013 est.)

$29.74 billion (2012 est.)

Composition of Gross Domestic Product:

% Agricuture: 2.4

% Industry: 10.6

% Services: 87.1

Composition of Labor Force by Occupation:

% Agriculture: 3.9

% Industry: 16

% Services: 80.1

Per Capita Income:

$30,900 (2014 est.)

$31,600 (2013 est.)

$33,400 (2012 est.)


16.1% (2014 est.)

15.9% (2013 est.)

Key Export Commodities:

citrus, potatoes, pharmaceuticals, cement, clothing

Export Partners:

Greece 17.5%, UK 10.8%, Israel 5.8% (2014)


$7.743 billion (2014 est.)

$7.492 billion (2013 est.)

Key Import Commodities:

consumer goods, petroleum and lubricants, machinery, transport equipment

Import Partners:

Greece 23.8%, Israel 9.6%, UK 7.4%, Italy 7.2%, Germany 7.1%, Netherlands 5.7%, France 5.6%, Spain 4.8%, China 4.3% (2014)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Price Index):

-0.3% (2014 est.)

0.4% (2013 est.)

Exchange Rate to USD:

euros (EUR) per US dollar -

0.7489 (2014 est.)

0.7634 (2013 est.)

0.78 (2012 est.)

0.7185 (2011 est.)

0.755 (2010 est.)

Unemployment Rate:

16.1% (2014 est.)

15.9% (2013 est.)

S&P Rating:

Standard & Poor's Ratings:

    • AAA: The best quality borrowers, reliable and stable

    • AA: Quality borrowers, a bit higher risk than AAA

    • A: Economic situation can affect finance

    • BBB: Medium class borrowers, which are satisfactory at the moment

    • BB: More prone to changes in the economy

    • B: Financial situation varies noticeably

    • CCC: An obligor rated currently vulnerable, and is dependent upon favorable business, financial, and economic conditions to meet its financial commitments.

Ref 2012-2014: CIA World Factbook, Wikipedia, PWC, EY, Standard & Poors ratings