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Reduction in trade deficit ‘reflects growth in investment’

Preliminary figures show that Malta registered a trade deficit of €28.4 million in October 2015, compared to €321.0 million in the corresponding month of 2014

Staff Reporter
4 December 2015, 1:58pm
Provisional data for international trade show that the trade deficit in October stood at €28.4 million, down by €292.6 million when compared to the corresponding month in 2014.

A decrease of €283.8 million was recorded for imports, while exports increased by €8.8 million. The decrease in the value of imports was primarily due to machinery and transport equipment (€153.3 million) and mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (€85.7 million).

Other decreases were recorded for all other commodity groups except for crude materials. Regarding exports, food accounted for the main increase (€17.7 million), with mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials, semi-manufactured goods, beverages and tobacco, and miscellaneous manufactured articles also registering increases.

“This positive performance is reflecting the turnaround in productive investments which the Government believes will be the main thrust behind the sustainable growth in employment and incomes,” Finance Minister Edward Scicluna said in reaction to the statistics issued by the National Statistics Office.

During the first ten months, the trade deficit narrowed by €90.0 million, to €2,095.5 million when compared to the corresponding period last year. Both imports and exports decreased by €261.6 million and €171.6 million respectively.

Lower imports were mainly due to mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials, which decreased by €765.7 million. This was partly outweighed by an increase of €458.5 million in machinery and transport equipment. The decrease in the value of exports was triggered by lower mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (€183.8 million), and machinery and transport equipment (€39.7 million).

Malta’s trade imports from the European Union reached €2,973.9 million, or 57.9 per cent of total imports. There was an increase of €241.0 million in imports from euro area countries when compared to the same period last year. Main increases and decreases in imports were registered from the Netherlands (€188.5 million) and the United States of America (€277.9 million) respectively. On the export side the main increase was directed to France (€38.8 million), whereas Italy (€42.3 million) registered the highest decrease.

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