Contrary to the impression created by some other local papers this week, Greek Cypriots spent less over the Green Line in November 2012 than in the same month of 2011 in terms of plastic card use.
Plastic card spending dropped by 1.0% over the year earlier to 407,180 from 411,210, according to data from JCC Payment Systems, the major credit card provider, and analysis from Sapienta Economics.
The main decline came from spending on airlines, which tumbled by 35.2% to EUR 60,872.
Where the reports have been right, however, is in the increase of spending on entertainment (mainly casinos), which rose by 91.3% over the year earlier to reach EUR 86,603.
This could be as a result of a low base for comparison, as spending on entertainment had been declining in double digits for several months, before bouncing back in September.
Overall card spending north of the Green Line in January-November reached EUR 4.67 mln, marking a fall of 1.0% over the same period of 2011.
Spending in Turkey rose by 31.1% over the year earlier to reach EUR 360,533 in November, although spending patterns here have been erratic and total spending in January-November was only up by 2.2% compared with the same period of 2011.
Turkish Cypriots continue to spend more south of the Green Line than Greek Cypriots do in northern Cyprus.
Turkish Cypriot card spending reached EUR 1.37 mln in November, although this was 4.4% lower than in November 2011.
The main spending was on supermarkets (EUR 350,940), clothing (EUR 236,229), DIY stores (EUR 196,795) and department stores (EUR 110,603).
Card spending by Turkish Cypriots in the first 11 months of the year fell by 4.4% to EUR 15.78 mln.
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