Cyprus’s GDP seen at 4.0 pct

NICOSIA (Reuters) – Cyprus expects economic growth of close to 4.0 percent in 2008, its finance minister said yesterday, saying a quarter-on-quarter dip in Q2 was seasonal. «We are quite confident that if present trends continue, growth for 2008 will be very close to 4.0 percent,» Finance Minister Charilaos Stavrakis told Reuters. Earlier yesterday the statistics department reported 3.9 percent year-on-year growth in the second quarter, down from 4.1 percent in the first. Quarter-on-quarter growth stood at 0.7 percent, from 1.1 percent in the first quarter. «It’s a combination of seasonal factors,» said Stavrakis, referring to the quarterly dip. «There have been specific issues which have affected the second quarter, like the tourism season which had not fully started, and the oil crisis,» he added. Tourism, a key earner for Cyprus and a sector representing about 13 percent of the island’s gross domestic product, does not get into full swing until July and August.