Economy to ‘grow faster than EU average’

Malta’s economy is expected to continue to grow – even beyond the EU average – over the next two years, according to a European Commission forecast.

The “robust” growth comes as the EU economy, after years of stagnation, experiences “positive economic tailwinds” supported by various factors including the low price of oil and steady global growth.

In its biannual forecast issued yesterday, Brussels said Malta was expected to post a 3.6 per cent GDP growth this year before moderating to 3.2 per cent in 2016.

“The main drivers of growth over 2015 and 2016, similar to 2014, are projected to be investment, benefiting from a number of large-scale construction and energy projects and EU fund absorption (mostly in 2015),” it said. According to the Commission, another boost to Malta’s economic growth is “private consumption, on the back of increasing disposable incomes and favourable consumer sentiment”.

“Falling interest rates, bringing about a reduction in the costs of financing for firms, are expected to ease access to finance for firms, in particular for micro and small enterprises,” it added.

Brussels said the continued economic growth was expected to have a positive effect on job creation which would result in lower unemployment.

On the other hand, inflation was expected to exceed that of the euro area.

Times of Malta, May 6, 2015

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