IMF sees Cyprus growth in 2015, warns of pitfalls

Initiatives

Cyprus should return to growth in 2015 after three years of deep recession, the International Monetary Fund said on Friday, but will need to ensure that its sweeping austerity program does not slip off the tracks. The IMF agreed in March to provide Cyprus with some €1 billion in aid, along with another €9 billion from the European Union, to stave off a meltdown of the cash-strapped economy. A staff report issued on Friday backed that decision, praising the government for the steps it has taken to restructure the economy but warning that it must go even further to achieve long-term stability. The report said real GDP should grow by a modest 1.1% in 2015, after plunging 8.7% this year and a further 3.9% in 2014. At the same time, it forecast that already high unemployment should reach 15.5% in 2013 and peak at 16.9% next year before easing to 14.6% in 2015.

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