Cyprus posted a general government deficit amounting to €727 million for the period of January – October 2020, compared to a surplus of €639 million in the respective period of last year due to launch of government support measures and the reduced public revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to data published by the Statistical Service of Cyprus (Cystat), during the period of January-October 2020, total expenditure increased by €718.5 million (+10,7%) and amounted to €7.448,0 million, compared to €6.729,5 million in the corresponding period of 2019.
The spike in public expenditure “is due to the support measures taken to address the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on employment, which amounted to €506,2 million,” Cystat added.
Intermediate consumption increased by €338,6 million (+40,8%) and amounted to €1.169,0 million, compared to €830,4 million in 2019. Social benefits increased by €96,9 million (+4,4%) and amounted to €2.318,8 million, compared to €2.221,9 million in 2019.
Compensation of employees (including imputed social contributions and pensions of civil servants) increased by €101,4 million (+4,9%) and amounted to €2.182,8 million, compared to €2.081,4 million in 2019.
Subsidies showed the highest annual rise reaching by €472,7 million and amounted to €509,0 million, compared to €36,3 million in 2019, with Cystat noting that the increase is associated with the support measures to enterprises due to the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Current transfers increased by €53,8 million (+13,0%) and amounted to €466,7 million, compared to €412,9 million in 2019.
Revenue down by 8.8%
According to Cystat, public revenue for the period of January-October 2020, declined by €648,6 million (-8,8%) to €6.720,2 million, compared to €7.368,8 million in the corresponding period 2019.
Taxes on production and imports decreased by €305,6 million (-10,8%) to €2.511,5 million, from €2.817,1 million in 2019, of which net VAT revenue decreased by €139,0 million (-7,7%) to €1.654,7 million, compared to €1.793,7 million in 2019.
Revenue from taxes on income and wealth decreased by €235,1 million (-14,3%) to €1.412,3 million, from €1.647,4 million in 2019. Social contributions decreased by €36,1 million (-1,9%) to €1.904,5 million, from €1.940,6 million in 2019.
Property income decreased by €72,1 million (-45,0%) to €88,2 million, from €160,3 million in 2019. Revenue from the sale of goods and services decreased by €2,5 million (-0,4%) to €562,0 million, from €564,5 million in 2019. Current transfers decreased by €6,7 million (-3,9%) to €164,5 million, from €171,2 million in 2019.
Increased amounts in specific categories of expenditure are partly attributed to the implementation of the National Health System as of 01.03.2019, Cystat said.