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Maltese Economy Shows Resilience with Strong Surplus

Maltese Economy Shows Resilience with Strong Surplus

The National Statistics Office published data that confirms that, during 2016, Malta managed to balance its books and registered its first fiscal surplus in over three decades. The Statistics office’s data shows that the Maltese Economy grew by 5% during 2016, with unemployment remaining at record low levels. The positive trends are predicted to continue through 2017 and 2018 with positive results already being felt during 2017 in the tourism, financial services and iGaming segments.

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The surplus has come about because of a controlled spending approach on one side and on the other, due to marked increases in economic activity particularly in the tourism, professional and information and communication industries. The government managed to reach its targets without resorting to any austerity measures but by maintaining a prudent fiscal approach and promoting growth. When measured as a percentage of GDP, the result was equivalent to a surplus of 1%, showing an important improvement from the deficit of 1.3% registered in 2015. In monetary terms, the surplus generated by the government during 2016 amounted to around €101 million, shifting from a deficit of €119.3 million recorded in 2015. The government’s total revenue for the year stood at €3,871.3 million, while its total expenditure settled at €3,770 million.

The published results compare very positively with other EU economies with Malta recording the second highest fiscal surplus, only second to Luxembourg. The economic turnaround has been hailed as ‘miraculous’ by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat who highlighted the fact that the current legislation had started from a Euro 362 million fiscal deficit that was recorded for 2012. The government said that the results achieved will allow the government to increase its spending on infrastructure projects and to continue in its objectives for a fairer distribution of the wealth that is being generated by the Maltese economy.

The surplus registered, together with the strong economic indicators are expected to further increase Malta’s attractiveness to foreign direct investment and company formation.

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