Research Center
Cyprus Economy

Did the retail sector earn EUR 100 mln from Turkish Cypriots in 2012?

03 February, 2013
Analysis of data from the plastic card company JCC Payment Systems show that the beleaguered retail sector earned EUR 18 mln from Turkish Cypriots (not including cash payments) in 2012, up from EUR 17.1 mln in 2011. The biggest winner was DIY stores, with spending up 12.1% to EUR 2.7 mln, followed by supermarkets, with spending up 10.1% to EUR 4 mln. However, that does not tell the whole story about Turkish Cypriot spending. Figures cited in the Interdependence Report of 2011, sponsored by UNDP-ACT and produced by Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot team, suggest that card payments make up only a small proportion of the total spent. On the basis of surveys, the Interdependence Report estimated that spending by Turkish Cypriots reached EUR 102.4 mln in 2009. This was a year in which JCC reported credit card spending in the south of EUR 17.4 mln. Applying the same ratio to 2012 implies that Turkish Cypriots spent just under EUR 100 mln south of the Green Line in 2012. This amounts to around 3% of gross output in the retail and wholesale sector. “Our surveys found that there were a lot more cash payments on both sides of the Green Line than is commonly assumed to be the case,” said Costas Apostolides, one of the authors of the Interdependence report. “So taking the JCC data as a guide to Turkish Cypriot spending results in a vast underestimate of their actual expenditure.”