ECONOMY

In Brief

Deficit-cutting measures announced in Nicosia NICOSIA (Reuters) – Cyprus is to impose a 0.05 percent tax on high bank deposits that will run for two years, its finance minister said yesterday, unveiling a broad package of fiscal measures designed to cut a growing public deficit. Finance Minister Charilaos Stavrakis said the levy will apply to deposits over 100,000 euros. A bank stability fund will also be created, he told parliament in his annual budget speech. Some 60 million euros in earnings from the bank tax will be directed to both the stability fund and to the government. A 5 percent value-added tax levy will be imposed on foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals from January 1, a «health tax» on tobacco items will increase by 20 percent, and there will be changes in the pricing of water supplies, the minister said. Unveiling the measures after months of wrangling between the two parties in the center-left governing coalition, Stavrakis said the measures would generate more than 160 million euros in revenue next year. The minister said the bank levy would bring an additional 60 million euros in revenue. Cypriot Q3 provisional growth seen at 0.6 pct NICOSIA (Reuters) – Cyprus’s gross domestic product grew 0.6 percent in the third quarter on a quarterly basis, compared with a revised 0.5 percent in the second quarter, the island’s statistics department said yesterday. Year-on-year, real GDP expanded by 1.8 percent from July until September compared with 0.5 percent in the second quarter. Most sectors of the economy showed improvement, the statistics department said in a news release. Tourism, financial services and banking contributed to growth though construction remained negative. Bulgarian GDP Bulgaria’s economy expanded year-on-year for the first time in almost two years in the third quarter, the statistics office said yesterday, as export growth offset declines in domestic consumption. Gross domestic product rose 0.5 percent from the same period a year earlier and on a quarterly basis it expanded 0.7 percent, quickening from 0.5 percent growth in the second quarter, seasonally adjusted data showed. (Reuters) Turkish discipline Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that his government would maintain fiscal discipline ahead of elections next June, promising the polls would not pitch Turkish markets into traditional turmoil. Erdogan’s chances of scoring a third term were boosted in September when Turkish voters gave the government higher-than-expected support in a referendum on constitutional change. «From the moment the word ‘election’ was uttered it used to have a great impact on Turkish markets, especially as a result of populist policies, with the central bank printing money,» Erdogan told a conference marking the 25th anniversary of the Istanbul Stock Exchange. (Reuters