12° Nicosia,
22 May, 2024

What did Cypriot consumers purchase in 2022?

High hotel and airline turnover during the holidays, but a discernible decline in fast food and kiosk sales

Maria Eracleous

Maria Eracleous

Cashless transactions have significantly increased since businesses are now required to accept credit or debit cards. Card payments now account for approximately 72% of all commercial transactions, rather than cash. K has JCC data that shows the value of purchases made by category between the beginning of 2022 and the end of November. Except for kiosks and fast food, the data shows increases in all categories. They also show the resurgence of tourism, with purchases at hotels and airline tickets recording the highest increases.

At the 11-month level, ticket purchases paid for using cashless transactions were worth €64.714 million versus €20.188 million in air transport. This is a 220% increase. Ticket sales in November were €6.134 million this year, up from €2.613 million the previous year, a 134% increase.

Hotels round out the list of purchases related to tourism, with an increase of 56.7% over the first 11 months of 2021.

For tour operators, purchases of tour packages and tickets were also up. In particular, this November is up 70.3% (€4,137 million this year versus €2,428 million in November 2021). The increase over an 11-month period is 108%. This year's turnover was €60.353 million, up from €28.904 million in the same period last year.

Hotels round out the list of purchases related to tourism, with an increase of 56.7% over the first 11 months of 2021. In particular, this year's card-based hotel purchases were worth €468.917 million as opposed to €300 million last year. November saw an increase despite being a weak month for tourism. The plastic industry's November sales increased by 7.33% to €26.328 million from €24.529 million in November of last year.

The 11-month credit/debit card turnover for this category of restaurants, bars, and catering increased by 83.8%. It was specifically €637.271 million this year as opposed to €346.722 million the previous year. The amount increased by 30.62% to €53.437 million for the entire month of November from €40.911 million.  The increase is seen at gas stations and is primarily attributed to the increase in fuel prices. Between January and November, customers at gas stations paid a total of €448.507 million, up from €303.293 million the previous year. This represents a 47.88% increase. Particularly for the month of November, the amount came to €42.9 million, up from €32.176 million in November of last year, a 33.32% increase.

At least based on these numbers, the fast food sector, which boomed during the pandemic, now appears to be experiencing a significant decline. Fast food outlets received €31 million in card purchases over the course of the past 11 months, compared to €75 million in the same period last year, a 58% decrease.

With €3.3 million as opposed to €1.9 million, November appears to be up.

Kiosk cashless transactions also decreased. The amount was €44.287 million at the end of the first eleven months, which was a 16.3% decrease from the €52.916 million of the same period the previous year. There were 1.7 million people in November alone, down from 4.8 million in November 2021, a 64% decrease.

In hypermarkets, the use of credit/debit cards increased as well. In more detail, it came to €1,144, 895 (over €1 billion) over the course of the past 11 months as opposed to €1, 08 billion during the same time last year. At the 11-month level, this is an increase of 13.55 percent. The increase was 23.8% in November alone, from €88 million to €109 million last year and recorded 23.88%. Transactions also recorded an increase. 

A total of €125,732 was spent by consumers using cards to buy electronics, technology, and gadgets, an increase of 16.94% from €107, 517 million. Black Friday's month of November saw a rise of 28.7% this year over last year, with sales of €17, 508 million as opposed to €13, 597 million. Home appliance sales also saw a slight uptick, rising 2.6% in November and by +14.68% over the past 11 months.

Significant growth was recorded in furniture and DIY purchases using credit/debit cards. In particular, the 11-month turnover was €115, 686 million this year, up 30% from €89 million the previous year. Black Friday contributed to a 40% increase in November sales. In terms of DIY, the 11-month increase was at 22.19%. This year, it was €192 million, up from €157 million the previous year. In November, the figure was €20.7m, up from €16.8m in 2021. The increase in November alone was 22.72%.

Clothing and footwear experienced an increase, albeit at a slower pace. In particular, the turnover for the 11 months of 2022 was €430 million, compared to €357 million in the previous year. In November alone, turnover amounted to €46,211 million compared to €41,297 million in 2021 (+11.9%).

[This article was first published in Kathimerini's Sunday edition (18/12) and translated from its Greek original]

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