GDP up 4% in first quarter – drop in manufacturing, overseas trade

Times of Malta, June 8, 2015

Gross Domestic Product in the first quarter of the amounted to €1,947.1 million, an increase of  four per cent in real terms, the National Statistics Office reported today.

It said growth in gross value added was generated by public administration and defence, education, human health and social work activities which increased by 6.3 per cent; professional, scientific and technical activities, administrative and support service activities which increased by 11.2 per cent;financial and insurance activities which increased by 11.9 per cent; wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, transportation and storage, accommodation and food service activities which increased by 3.9 per cent.

DROP IN MANUFACTURING, OVERSEAS TRADE

Drops were registered in manufacturing which decreased by six per cent.

Total final consumption expenditure increased by 2.7 per cent in real terms. Gross fixed capital formation decreased by €65.9 million in nominal prices and decreased by 18.3 per cent in real terms. Real exports and real imports decreased.

Compared to the corresponding quarter last year, GDP at current prices went up by €110.9 million, and was estimated to have been distributed into a €36.3 million increase in compensation of employees, a €46.7million increase in gross operating surplus of enterprises, and a €27.9 million increase in net taxation on production and imports.

The NSO said that considering the effects of income and taxation paid and received by residents to and from the rest of the world, Gross National Income (GNI) at market prices for the first quarter is estimated at €1,899.6 million.

STRONG GROWTH EXPECTED TO CONTINUE

The Finance Ministry welcomed the NSO figures and said it expected strong economic growth to be maintained in the rest of the year.

“The strong momentum exhibited by the Maltese economy during 2013 and 2014 is set to continue during this year,” it said, adding that the growth experienced by the Maltese economy was even more remarkable when compared to an average growth of 1 per cent registered in the Euro Area for the same period.

“These highly positive outcomes are the result of this government’s vision of implementing structural reforms to raise potential output while putting our public finances back on track,” Finance Minister Edward Scicluna said in a statement.

He said economic growth was underpinned by increased consumer confidence on the back of higher employment levels, historically low unemployment and increasing purchasing power.

During the first quarter of 2015, private consumption increased by 2.5 per cent or €23.6 million compared to the same period of 2014 while the average wages and salaries increased by 4.2 per cent or €36.3 million. This, the minister said, confirmed that economic growth was being translated into better opportunities for Maltese families.