Recession-hit EU member Cyprus notched up its first positive growth in almost four years as GDP rose 1.5% in the first quarter, official figures showed today. 

The figure was fractionally lower than the 1.6% first quarter growth posted in a flash estimate last month, from a 0.4% dip in the previous quarter. 

The Mediterranean island has put a stop to 14 successive quarterly economic contractions with its growth figures for the three months from January to March, the state statistical service said. 

It is the first time the Mediterranean holiday island's economy has registered growth since the second quarter of 2011. 

Seasonally adjusted data also showed that year-on-year the economy grew 0.2% in the first quarter compared to a 1.8% retreat in 2014. 

Last month, the European Commission forecast that the economy in Cyprus would contract 0.5% this year and grow 1.4% in 2016. 

The state statistical service today reported positive growth rates in hotels, trade, restaurants, electricity, communication, legal and accounting services in the first quarter. But there was a contraction in construction and manufacturing. 

The troika of international lenders - the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund - bailed out Cyprus in March 2013 to prevent a banking collapse. 

Cyprus in return agreed to a harsh austerity programme but the country aims to exit from the bailout in 2016.