War hits Cyprus’s GDP

NICOSIA (Reuters) – Cyprus’s economic growth slowed sharply in the second quarter as heightened regional tension due to the war in Iraq caused a decline in tourism, official figures showed yesterday. Gross domestic product grew by 0.7 percent in April-June compared with a year earlier, down from 2.6 percent in January-March and 3.3 percent in final quarter 2002. Second-quarter expansion was hit by a decline in tourism earnings, manufacturing and wholesale trade, the Statistics Department said in a note on its website. The tensions triggered by the war in Iraq depressed the flow of tourists to Cyprus this year. Tourism represents one-fifth of GDP. By the end of August, arrivals were down 6.7 percent on an annual basis and income was considerably less than in 2002. The latest data for the January-July period shows that in income terms, revenue from the sector was 13.9 percent lower at 521 million pounds.