General Government accounts for 2016 record surplus for the first time in seven years

Preliminary data on the General Government accounts for 2016 showed that the annual public sector balance registered a surplus of Euros 64,4 mn, that corresponds to 0,4% of GDP, the Statistical Service of Cyprus announced on Monday.

This is the first time in the past seven years that the public sector balance records a surplus, the last time was in 2008.

Total expenditure decreased by 2,4% (Euros 6.955,0 mn) and total revenue increased by 1,5% (Euros 7.019,4 mn) as compared to 2015, Cystat said.

In addition, the general governments primary balance, excluding debt servicing, reached a surplus of Euros 529,1 million in 2016. This is the second consecutive year that a primary surplus is recorded, after the deficits of the period 2009-2014.

For the period October-December 2016, total revenue amounted Euros 2.102,1 mn (6,5% increase as compared to the corresponding period of 2015), while total expenditure reached Euros 2.181,1 mn (5,0% decrease), resulting in a deficit of Euros 79,0 mn as compared to a deficit of Euros 320,8 mn in the corresponding period of the previous year.

The main categories of revenue for the period October-December 2016 were: taxes on production and imports Euros 799,1 mn (17,0% increase as compared to the last quarter of 2015), of which VAT was Euros 547,8 mn (29,2% increase), taxes on income and wealth Euros 516,3 mn (7,9% decrease) and social contributions Euros 421,0 mn (4,9% increase). Revenue from sales of goods and services increased by 29,8% as compared to the corresponding period of the previous year reaching Euros 197,1 mn.

The main categories of expenditure for the period October-December 2016 were: social transfers Euros 748,7 mn (2,7% increase compared to the corresponding period of 2015), and compensation of employees (including imputed social contributions and pensions of civil servants) Euros 696,8 mn (2,4% increase). Intermediate consumption reached Euros 239,3 mn (2,3% increase as compared to the corresponding period of the previous year).

The decrease in total expenditure is mainly attributed to the sharp decrease in current and capital transfers, -30,1% and -85,5% respectively.

Source: Cyprus News Agency