ECONOMY

Cyprus achieves surplus

NICOSIA – Cyprus had a budget surplus equal to 0.04 percent of gross domestic product and a declining public debt of 66.2 percent for the first nine months of the year, the country’s Finance Ministry said yesterday. Based on present trends, the government is on track to meet its target of cutting the overall budget deficit to 1.9 percent of GDP for the whole year and its public debt level to 67 percent, the ministry said in a statement. «This target is attainable,» a note charting economic trends said. The island’s statistics department was due to issue official nine-month economic data today. Data released by the ministry showed revenues up 14.4 percent. Spending rose 6.3 percent on the back of increases in charges for goods and services and a higher state payroll. In the revenues category, state coffers were boosted by a staggering 105.7 percent increase in receipts from capital gains tax, reflecting a buoyant real estate market. Land registry receipts were up by 75.6 percent. Cyprus expects to adopt the euro as its national currency by January 1, 2008. It must keep its budgetary shortfall within 3.0 percent of GDP, converge on interest rates, show a progressively declining public debt and keep inflation under control.