€1.1bn was lost to the Cyprus economy as a result of the coronavirus, the statistical service (Cystat) announced on Tuesday.
According to Cystat, Cyprus’ GDP shrank by 5.1 per cent in 2020 in terms of seasonally adjusted data compared to 2019, with only the first quarter showing a positive annual growth rate, following the pandemic reaching the island in March 2020.
Cyprus’ GDP in 2020, based on seasonally adjusted data, amounted to €20,527m, compared to €21,632m in 2019. In the first quarter of the year, the GDP amounted to €5.44bn, while in the second it fell to €4.72bn, to recover to €5.14bn in the third quarter and to €5.22bn in the last quarter of the year.
In the first quarter, the GDP showed a growth rate of 1.4 per cent on an annual basis while in the second quarter it plunged by 12.6 per cent, reflecting the almost two-month lockdown and the closure of airports, which dealt a huge blow to the tourism industry.
In the third quarter, the annual contraction rate was reduced to 4.7 per cent compared to the corresponding quarter of 2019, reflecting the gradual lifting of restrictive measures and the return of economic activity, while in the last quarter of the year, the economy shrank by 4.5 per cent. The last quarter of the year was marked by local lockdowns in Paphos and Limassol, while in the last month of 2020 a total lockdown was imposed.
Cystat also announced on Tuesday that unemployment in Cyprus in 2020 rose to 7.6 per cent, compared with 7.1 per cent the year before, pushed upwards by the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic on the labour market.
Among young people aged 15-24, the unemployment rate was 19.9 per cent compared to 16.0 per cent in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.