The Cyprus Employers & Industrialists Federation (Oeb) president Antonis Antoniou said during his end-year address that the unpredictability of the past two years has hurt both private businesses and the public sector.

“The last two years have come to overturn everything we knew and remind us that nothing is given nor can it be foreseen,” Antoniou said.

“It is clear that this makes it even more difficult for both companies and the wider public sector to work on their plans for the new year,” he added.

The Oeb president acknowledged that 2021 started with “great optimism” due to the vaccinations programmes, which allowed Cyprus to exit lockdown measures and in turn allowed businesses to return to a semblance of normality.

“This allowed businesses and the economy to breathe since they both reopened at a remarkable pace,” Antoniou said.

Antoniou explained that while he is averse to making predictions about the economy now, he did concede that the knowledge and experience gained during the pandemic will allow Cyprus to avoid excessive measures.

“Based on the above, I am optimistic that in 2022 we will be able to draw up a new strategy to address future challenges that will be defined by consistency, seriousness and rationality and will balance health and financial requirements,” Antoniou concluded.

Industrial production increased significantly in the first ten months of 2021, compared to the same period last year, with most economic activities in the sector recording increases, according to the Cyprus Statistical Service.

Specifically, the Industrial Production Index for October 2021 reached 132.1 points (base 2015 = 100), recording an increase of 1.7 per cent compared to October 2020.

During the period between January and October of this year, the index showed an increase of 8 per cent year-on-year.

In the manufacturing sector, there was an increase of 2.4 per cent compared to October 2020.

An increase was also recorded in the water supply and materials recovery sector (+ 26 per cent).

A negative change was observed in the sectors of electricity supply (-4.8 per cent), as well as mines and quarries (-2.2 per cent).

The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) ended Thursday, December 30 with negligible profits.

The main Cyprus Stock Market Index was at 67.55 points at 13:21 during the day, reflecting a rise of 0.03 per cent over the previous day of trading.

The FTSE / CySE 20 Index was at 40.52 points, remaining stable from the day before.

The total value of transactions came up to €21,297.

In terms of sub-indexes, the main, hotel and investment firm indexes fell by 0.47 per cent, 0.3 per cent and 0.44 per cent respectively. Conversely, the alternative index rose by 0.4 per cent.

The biggest investment interest was attracted by Logicom (+1.2 per cent), Petrolina (+0.94 per cent), Hellenic Bank (-2.38 per cent), Salamis (no change) and Demetra (-0.48 per cent).