(Updates with Eurostat figures in fifth paragraph)
By Stelios Orphanides
The Cypriot government generated a fiscal surplus of €64.4m, or 0.4 per cent of economic output, in 2016, after posting deficits over the past in eight years, the statistical service said.
Improved fiscal performance was on a 1.5 per cent increase in revenue last year to over €7bn, accompanied by a 2.4 per cent drop in spending to below €7bn, Cystat said in a statement on its website on Monday.
The government posted a fiscal surplus of €146.3m in the first quarter and a deficit of €188.7m from April to June, Cystat said. In the third and fourth quarters, the budget produced a surplus of €185.8m and a deficit of €79m respectively.
In 2015 and 2014, when the government had posted fiscal shortfalls of €208.9m and €1.5bn, or 1.2 per cent and 8.8 per cent respectively, it was mainly on capital assistance extended to the Cooperative banking sector.
Until October, the government was expecting to generate a fiscal deficit of 0.3 per cent of the economy last year.
According to a Eurostat statement published also on Monday, Cyprus was among the best fiscal achievers in the 19-member currency bloc last year. Luxembourg generated the largest fiscal surplus of 1.6 per cent of gross domestic product, followed by Malta with 1 per cent, Germany and Greece with 0.8 per cent and 0.7 per cent respectively. The Netherlands also generated a fiscal deficit of 0.4 per cent.