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Malta Economy Profile 2018

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Economy - overviewMalta’s free market economy – the smallest economy in the euro-zone – relies heavily on trade in both goods and services, principally with Europe. Malta produces less than a quarter of its food needs, has limited fresh water supplies, and has few domestic energy sources. Malta's economy is dependent on foreign trade, manufacturing, and tourism. Malta joined the EU in 2004 and adopted the euro on 1 January 2008.

Malta has weathered the euro-zone crisis better than most EU member states due to a low debt-to-GDP ratio and financially sound banking sector. It maintains one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe, and growth has fully recovered since the 2009 recession. In 2014 through 2016, Malta led the euro zone in growth, expanding more than 4.5% per year.

Malta’s services sector continues to grow, with sustained growth in the financial services and online gaming sectors. Advantageous tax schemes remained attractive to foreign investors, though EU discussions of anti-tax avoidance measures have raised concerns among Malta’s financial services and insurance providers, as the measures could have a significant impact on those sectors. The tourism sector also continued to grow, with 2016 showing record-breaking numbers of both air and cruise passenger arrivals.

Malta’s GDP growth remains strong and is supported by a strong labor market. The government has implemented new programs, including free childcare, to encourage increased labor participation. The high cost of borrowing and small labor market remain potential constraints to future economic growth. Increasingly, other EU and European migrants are relocating to Malta for employment, though wages have remained low compared to other European countries. Inflation remains low.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$18.53 billion (2017 est.)
$17.62 billion (2016 est.)
$16.7 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$12.01 billion (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate5.1% (2017 est.)
5.5% (2016 est.)
7.1% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$42,500 (2017 est.)
$40,600 (2016 est.)
$38,900 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving31.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
31.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
29.9% of GDP (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 49.1%
government consumption: 16.8%
investment in fixed capital: 23.1%
investment in inventories: -0.8%
exports of goods and services: 145.4%
imports of goods and services: -133.5% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 1.3%
industry: 10.6%
services: 88.1% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line16.3% (2015 est.)
Labor force206,300 (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 1.6%
industry: 20.7%
services: 77.7% (2016 est.)
Unemployment rate4.4% (2017 est.)
4.7% (2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 11.8%
male: 13.9%
female: 9.4% (2015 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Distribution of family income - Gini index28.1 (2015)
27.7 (2014)
Budgetrevenues: $4.295 billion
expenditures: $4.354 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues35.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-0.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
Public debt52.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
56% of GDP (2016 est.)
note: Malta reports public debt at nominal value outstanding at the end of the year, according to guidelines set out in the Maastricht Treaty for general government gross debt; the data include the following categories of government liabilities (as defined in ESA95): currency and deposits (AF.2), securities other than shares excluding financial derivatives (AF.3, excluding AF.34), and loans (AF.4); general government comprises the central government, state government, local government and social security funds
Inflation rate (consumer prices)1.3% (2017 est.)
0.9% (2016 est.)
Central bank discount rate-0.35% (31 December 2016 est.)
-0.2% (31 December 2015)
note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area
Commercial bank prime lending rate3% (31 December 2017 est.)
3.1% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money$14.69 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$14.56 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
note: see entry for the EU for money supply for the entire euro area; the European Central Bank controls monetary policy for the 18 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money circulating within their own borders
Stock of broad money$19.5 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$19.2 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$20.02 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$19.19 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$4.632 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$4.468 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$3.353 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Agriculture - productspotatoes, cauliflower, grapes, wheat, barley, tomatoes, citrus, cut flowers, green peppers; pork, milk, poultry, eggs
Industriestourism, electronics, ship building and repair, construction, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, footwear, clothing, tobacco, aviation services, financial services, information technology services
Industrial production growth rate-3.3% (2016 est.)
Current Account Balance$1.075 billion (2017 est.)
$867 million (2016 est.)
Exports$2.627 billion (2017 est.)
$2.493 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commoditiesmachinery and mechanical appliances; mineral fuels, oils and petroleum products; pharmaceutical products; books and newspapers; aircraft/spacecraft and parts; toys, games, and sports equipment
Exports - partnersUS 27.3%, Germany 13.9%, France 8.3%, Singapore 5.6%, Japan 5.2%, Hong Kong 4.3%, Italy 4.2% (2016)
Imports$5.191 billion (2017 est.)
$4.643 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmineral fuels, oils and products; electrical machinery; aircraft/spacecraft and parts thereof; machinery and mechanical appliances; plastic and other semi-manufactured goods; vehicles and parts
Imports - partnersItaly 20.9%, Canada 10.4%, Germany 6.3%, UK 5.9%, France 4.4% (2016)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$671.1 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$677.1 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external$90.98 billion (September 2016 est.)
$99.02 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$166.1 million (1 June 2016 est.)
$155.5 million (1 June 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$65.49 million (June 2015 est.)
$64.77 million (June 2014 est.)
Exchange rateseuros (EUR) per US dollar -
0.906 (2017 est.)
0.9214 (2016 est.)
0.9214 (2015 est.)
0.885 (2014 est.)
0.7634 (2013 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on January 20, 2018