Malta Economic Forecast

Malta Economic Outlook

April 30, 2019

Economic activity appeared to have moderated but likely remained robust in Q1 2019, following a strong Q4 2018 propelled by buoyant household spending and sky-rocketing government spending. In the first quarter, labor market conditions remained tight and in January-February retail sales expanded strongly. In the same period, however, growth in tourist arrivals decelerated sharply and, in February, tourist expenditures even contracted. Moreover, both business and consumer confidence weakened in Q1. On the fiscal front, the government recorded another budget surplus in 2018; the public debt-to-GDP ratio declined further. That said, a budget deficit was recorded through the first two months of 2019 due to a surge in capital spending and a sizable increase in recurrent expenditures.

Malta Economic Growth

Growth is expected to moderate this year, although the economy should still easily outperform most of its EU peers. Consumer spending is set to decelerate due to less job gains, although strong wage growth and low unemployment ought to cushion the slowdown. Moreover, as tourist arrivals stabilize, and a hard Brexit still looms, the external sector also weakens. Public infrastructure works, meanwhile, should prompt a rebound in fixed investment. Met the why particular panelists see growth at 4.8% in 2019, down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and at 4.1% in 2020.

Malta Economy Data

20132014201520162017
Population (million)0.40.40.40.50.5
GDP per capita (USD)23,90126,24724,18225,13327,304
GDP per capita (EUR)18,06419,73721,67022,66024,187
GDP (USD bn)11.111.311.611.312.6
GDP (EUR bn)7.68.59.511.211.1
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)4.68.19.65.26.4
Consumption (annual variation in %)2.02.35.12.83.9
Investment (annual variation in %)1.36.856.81.7-7.6
Exports (G&S, annual variation in %)0.93.23.54.54.3
Imports (G&S, annual variation in %)0.0-0.27.11.5-0.9
Industrial Production (annual variation in %)-4.7-5.76.0-4.43.9
Unemployment Rate6.45.85.44.74.0
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-2.4-1.8-1.11.03.9
Public Debt (% of GDP)68.463.858.756.250.8
Inflation Rate (HICP, annual variation in %, eop)1.00.41.21.01.3
Inflation Rate (HICP, annual variation in %)1.00.81.20.91.3
Inflation (PPI, annual variation in %)-  -  -  -  -  
Policy Interest Rate (%)0.250.050.050.00.0
Exchange Rate (vs USD)1.381.211.091.051.20
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)1.331.331.111.111.13
Current Account (% of GDP)2.03.13.76.411.6
Current Account Balance (EUR bn)0.20.80.50.81.4
Trade Balance (EUR billion)-1.1-1.1-1.8-1.9-1.6

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Malta Facts

ValueChangeDate
Bond Yield0.863.09 %May 13
Exchange Rate1.120.65 %May 13
Stock Market4,7410.36 %May 13

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