Malta registers second largest economic growth in Eurozone

Malta set to achieve an economic growth of 3.9% in 2016 placing it in third place behind Ireland and Romania, EU forecasts say

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Chris Mangion
4 February 2016, 3:42pm
In 2015, Malta managed to surpass the EU’s economic growth forecast by 1.6%, after registering an economic growth of 4.9%, the second largest increase within the Eurozone.

Reacting to the EU’s Winter Economic Forecast (WEF) report, economy minister Chris Cardona described the result as another certificate of success.

The report claimed that the main engine of growth for Malta’s economy continued to be private investment with 18 full-time vacancies created everyday, while nine unemployed people are hired every two days.

“In the past three years Malta has doubled its economic growth, reduced unemployment to the lowest figures in history, registered the highest investment rates and lowest deficit and national debt figures”, Cardona said.

These results have earned Malta the trust of the EU Commission, he said. 

In 2015, the Commission had forecasted Malta’s economic growth to reach 3.3%, at par with the growth of 2014. However the country managed to outshine the EU’s expectations and reach 4.9%. Over the same period, the average economic growth within the Eurozone was 1.6%, while the average across all the European Union was 1.9%.

“At the same time the government has reduced taxes and utility bills, increased pensions and handed out free child care, initiatives which are both family and business friendly,” Cardona said.  

For 2016, the EU’s forecast states that Malta is set to achieve an economic growth of 3.9% placing it in third place behind Ireland and Romania.

Addressing the issue of national debt and the country’s deficit, Cardona quoted the WEF report as saying that although the EU expected the country’s deficit to be 2% the government managed to decrease it to 1.1% and expected to decrease further and reach 1% during this year.

A substantial decrease was also registered in national debt, which went down to 58.7% of GDP, almost equal to the same figures of 20 years ago. “This means that in the last years the government adjusted the financial damaged suffered under three PN-led administrations”, the minister claimed.

Whilst welcoming the WEC’s positive report, Cardona said there is more to be done and the government will not rest on its laurels, but “will continue taking decisions and initiatives to ascertain a continuous and sustainable economic growth”

chris_mangion
Chris Mangion is MaltaToday’s photojournalist, joining the newspaper in 2013.

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