The lifting of restrictive measures, including a two-week harsh lockdown from April to May, has boosted the economy, as credit card purchases improved 16% in the second quarter.
According to the latest data by JCC, the primary processor of card transactions in Cyprus, shows an annual increase of 16% in the use of plastic money by Cypriots from April to June, compared to the same period last year.
Sales made by Cypriots using credit cards reached €1.35 bln in Q2 2021, compared to the same period in 2020.
In comments to the Financial Mirror, a JCC official said attempts to interpret the increase might be misleading as the island was under COVID-19 restrictions for most of Q2 2020.
“Spending with plastic money is up in all sectors of the economy compared to the coronavirus-stricken Q2 of the previous year, when everything was closed”.
JCC said the reopening of the tourism sector mainly drove an increase of 155% in foreign cards used in Cyprus, but again it does not say much as tourist accommodation facilities were closed for most of Q2 last year.
Hotels were allowed to start reopening in June 2020.
Sales made with foreign cards in Cyprus reached 184 mln.
Local cards were used in the Turkish occupied north for purchases totalling €1.2 mln, while Turkish cards were used in the Republic of Cyprus for transactions worth €1.18 mln.