Malta has once again recorded the highest economic growth in the Euro Area with a real GDP growth rate of 6.6 per cent in 2017.
This growth rate is more than double the average growth rate of 2.3 and 2.4 per cent recorded in the Euro Area and the EU28 respectively.
In nominal terms, GDP grew by 9.0 per cent. The latter augurs well for the debt-to-GDP ratio for 2017, which is expected to fall below 55 per cent.
The €916 million increase in nominal GDP last year was distributed in a €290 million increase in compensation of employees, a €498 million increase in business profits, and a €128 million increase in revenue from production and imports taxes.
“I am pleased to note that our country has been consistently recording historically higher economic growth rates in the last four years confirming that this higher level of generated wealth for our families can and will be sustained,” Finance Minister Edward Scicluna said in a statement.
Private consumption remained a crucial driver of growth during the last year, increasing by €191 million or 4.4 per cent. This continues to reflect the dynamic performance of the labour market, boasting a consistently record low unemployment rate of 4.0 per cent in 2017 and a strong employment growth of 3.1 per cent in the third quarter of last year. Exports also contributed positively to growth.
Government final consumption expenditure remained contained such that it recorded a marginal decrease of €4 million or 0.3 per cent.
During 2017, economic growth continued to be broad-based as the increase in the gross value added for all sectors reached €794 million. This was reflected in double digit growth rates by the professional, scientific and technical activities, and administrative and support services sectors.
Other notable private sector increases were registered in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector, the construction, quarrying and utilities sectors, the wholesale and retail trade, transportation and storage sectors, the accommodation and food services sector, as well as the information and the communications sector. Also worth noting is the growth in the manufacturing sector, where gross value added rose to 9 per cent last year.