The Cyprus Composite Leading Economic Index (CCLEI) recorded a year-over-year decrease of 4.8% in February 2021 reaching a level of 102.9, after the year-over-year reductions of 5.1% in January 2021 and 4.3% in December 2020 (based on the latest and revised data).
“The negative year-over-year growth rate of the CCLEI in February 2021 reflects the economic consequences of the prolonged restrictive measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus”, says a press release issued by Hellenic Bank who developed the index in cooperation with the University of Cyprus.
According to the relevant report, the stricter restraint measures since the beginning of January continued to adversely affect most of the sectors in the domestic economy. In particular, preliminary estimates indicate the recording of negative year-over-year growth rates in January and especially in February 2021 for the volume of electricity production, while the year-over-year increase recorded in the volume of retail sales in December 2020 seems to be reversed. Moreover, the negative year-over-year growth rate for the total number of property sales contracts as well as for the tourist arrivals, continues in February 2021, contributing negatively to the year-over-year growth rate of the CCLEI. In this direction the positive year-over-year growth rate of the Brent Crude oil price in February 2021 also contributed, albeit from a low base.
In contrast, the improvement of the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) in the euro area, including Cyprus, in February compared to January 2021, as well as the year-over-year increase in credit card transactions, have a positive effect on the Index but are offset by the fall of the other components of the CCLEI.
In conclusion, the negative year-over-year growth rate of the CCLEI in February 2021 reflects the economic consequences of the prolonged restrictive measures against the spread of coronavirus. More generally, the future development of the CCLEI lies in the evolution of the pandemic, which distresses the domestic and international economic activity. Further information regarding the methodology of constructing the CCLEI can be found at Cyprus Composite Leading Economic Index (CCLEI)