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Leading Economic Index Records Increase In July 2021, Uncertainty Remains Amid Increased COVID-19 Cases

Leading Economic Index Records Increase In July 2021, Uncertainty Remains Amid Increased COVID-19 Cases

Cyprus Composite Leading Economic Index (CCLEI) recorded an annual increase of 13.4% in July 2021, after year-over-year increases of 14.5% in June and 14.0% in May.

According to a press release, compiled by the University of Cyprus’ Economic Research Centre (ERC), economic activity continues to recover, but uncertainty remains amid the increased rates of COVID-19 cases in July.

The recording of positive year-over-year growth rates of the CCLEI continues in July 2021, albeit weaker. The positive year-over-year growth rate of CCLEI is due, in part, to the steady progress of vaccination campaigns and the improved expectations and conditions it creates. However, the increased incidence rates in July underline the uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic and all its interrelated mutations.

The Cyprus Composite Leading Economic Index1 (CCLEI) recorded a year-over-year increase of 13.4% in July 2021, reaching a level of 111.5, after year-over-year increases of 14.5% in June and 14.0% in May (based on the latest and revised data).

The recording of positive year-over-year growth rates of the CCLEI continues in July 2021, albeit weaker. The positive year-over-year growth rate of CCLEI is due, in part, to the steady progress of vaccination campaigns and the improved expectations and conditions it creates.

More specifically, according to preliminary data in June and July, a positive effect on the CCLEI and domestic economic activity is still exerted by tourist arrivals, which present a relatively good -tourist- depiction of July amid a pandemic, as well as the volume of retail sales. Nevertheless, the smaller relative increase in the Index in July reflects the increased rates of COVID-19 cases both in Cyprus and internationally, and thereby, the continuing uncertainty instigated by the coronavirus pandemic.

This uncertainty is reflected in the weaker improvement recorded by the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) in the euro area in July 2021, compared to previous months, as well as the deterioration of the ESI in Cyprus in July 2021 compared to June, amid the decline in consumer confidence and confidence in the services sector.

At the same time, although positive, a weaker year-over-year growth rate was recorded in the total number of property sales contracts, while a negative year-over-year growth rate was recorded in credit card transactions in July 2021.

In conclusion, the positive year-over-year growth rate of the CCLEI in recent months outlines the path towards the recovery of the Cypriot economy. However, the increased incidence rates in July underline the uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic and all its interrelated mutations.

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