Accelerated rates of economic growth

Malta has once again recorded the highest economic growth in the EU with a real GDP growth rate of 7.5 per cent in the third quarter of this year. The growth rate compares remarkably well with the average growth rate of 1.7 and 1.9 per cent recorded in the Euro Area and the EU28 respectively.


In nominal terms, GDP grew by 9.5 per cent. The latter augurs well for the debt-to-GDP ratio, which is expected to fall well below 50 per cent at the end of this year.

It may be noted that the rates of economic growth for the first three quarters of the year have accelerated rather than decelerated, from 4.8 per cent in the first quarter to 6.2 per cent in the second quarter to 7.5 per cent in the third quarter.

In total, Malta’s GDP for the first three quarters increased by €721 million which translated into a €245 million increase in wages and salaries, a €368 million increase in business profits, and a €108 million increase in net revenue from production and imports taxes. The financial figures are supported by similarly impressive growth in employment with year-on-year growth of 4.9 per cent.

Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna said: ‘I am pleased to note that our country has been consistently recording historically higher economic growth rates surpassing growth in all the other EU member states. This is expected to accelerate Malta’s convergence to the income level of the advanced EU countries which ultimately translates to a higher standard of living for our families.’

Investment was robust during the first three quarters reflecting various projects which have materialised this year including the first part of the 7-year road infrastructure project. Private consumption remained a main contributor to growth reflecting the dynamic performance of the labour market, boasting a consistently record low unemployment rate coupled with strong employment growth. Exports also contributed positively to growth. Government final consumption expenditure remained contained throughout the three quarters.

Economic growth continued to be broad-based as all sectors recorded an increase in gross value added. Double digit growth rates were recorded by the real estate activities, arts, entertainment and recreation which includes e-gaming and the professional, scientific and technical activities, and administrative and support services, sectors. Other notable private sector increases were registered in the financial and insurance activities, the construction and agriculture, forestry and fishing sectors. Also worth noting is the growth in the manufacturing sector, where gross value added rose to 6.2 per cent.

7th December 2018

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