Consumer expenditure on upward trend in line with the economy


Consumer expenditure by Maltese and Gozitan families measured in volume terms has been increasing strongly at an average rate of 5.1 per cent per annum for the last fifteen months. This is a far higher rate than that observed during the previous fifteen months where it averaged 1.7 per cent.

Similarly, increases were also recorded in imports of consumer goods which have increased by 2.7 per cent in nominal terms during the first half of this year.

These indicators categorically refute the Opposition’s claims that consumption is falling due to lower disposable income.

The published retail trade figures in fact are intended to cover a particular section of consumer expenditure. These figures exclude certain categories of consumer expenditure, such as purchases of motor vehicles and motorcycles, purchases from foreign retail stores via internet, and all services including restaurants.



It should also be noted that retail trade statistics for Malta have been observed to be quite volatile and erratic. This could be due to a low response rate by local operators to the statistical survey.
A countercheck of these indicators with those for the gross value added of the retail trade industry is therefore necessary. Gross value added reflects growth in profits and operating surpluses of enterprises and wages of employees.

Published statistics show that the gross value added in the retail industry increased from 1.6 per cent in the last quarter of 2013 to 2.9 per cent in the first quarter of this year and further up to 5.3 per cent in the second quarter of this year. Furthermore, the increase of 676 jobs in the retail sector is a further proof of the positive growth trend in retail trade.

Overall, these indicators confirm that the Opposition’s on-going claims that the retail trade is constantly declining are purely being based on narrow and non-representational data and are intended to downplay the stellar performance of the Maltese economy which Eurostat earlier today picked as the lead performer in the European Union.


– Monday, 8th September, 2014




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