Employment & Unemployment
In February 2018, the number of persons registering for work stood at 2,005 decreasing by 27.5 per cent when compared to the corresponding month in 2017. Data provided by Jobsplus for February 2018 indicate a decline of 701 persons registering under Part I and a decrease of 60 among those registering under Part II of the unemployment register, when compared to February 2017.
During the last quarter of 2017, Labour Force Survey estimates indicate an increase of 5.1 per cent in employment when compared to the corresponding quarter of 2016. Labour Force Survey estimates indicate that, during the fourth quarter 2017, total employment stood at 203,651 accounting to more than half the population aged 15 and over. On average, out of every 100 persons aged between 15 to 64 years, 69 were employed. The average annual basic salary of employees for the final quarter of 2017 was estimated at €17,911. The highest basic salary was recorded in the Financial and Insurance Service sector at €26,741. Average annual salaries varied from €30,754 among managers to €12,102 among persons employed in elementary occupations.
In February 2018, the annual rate of inflation as measured by the Retail Price Index (RPI) was registered at 0.98 per cent, up from 0.87 per cent in January 2018. The largest upward impact on annual inflation was recorded in the Food Index (0.32 percentage points), mainly reflecting higher prices of restaurant services and the like (including take-aways and cafeterias). The largest downward impact was recorded in the Clothing and Footwear Index (-0.21 percentage points), attributed to lower prices of garments. The Food Index registered an overall annual inflation rate of 1.50 per cent, of which Food excluding restaurant services and take-aways registered an annual rate of 0.68 per cent, while Restaurant services and take-aways registered an annual rate of 3.74 per cent.
Malta Government Finance
In 2017, Government’s Consolidated Fund registered a surplus of €182.7 million. Compared to 2016, recurrent revenue registered an increase of €484.2 million whereas total expenditure went up by €310.4 million. This resulted in a positive change in the Government’s Consolidated Fund by €173.8 million. In 2017, recurrent revenue was recorded at €4,291.2 million, up from €3,807.0 million last year. The comparative increase of 12.7 per cent was primarily the result of higher Income Tax and Value Added Tax which both increased by €169.2 million and €96.4 million respectively. Compared to 2016, total expenditure stood at €4,108.5 million up from €3,798.1 million due to added outlays on recurrent expenditure and capital expenditure which outweighed lower spending on interest payments.
In January-February 2018, Government’s Consolidated Fund registered a surplus of €18.7 million. Compared to the same period last year, recurrent revenue registered an increase of €36.3 million whereas total expenditure went up by €48.2 million. This resulted in a negative change in the Government’s Consolidated Fund by €11.9 million. In January-February 2018, recurrent revenue was recorded at €657.9 million, up from €621.6 million last year. The comparative increase of 5.8 per cent was primarily the result of higher Value Added Tax and Income Tax which both increased by €33.7 million and €24.3 million respectively. Recurrent expenditure stood at €577.0 million from €521.3 million last year.
Total inbound visitors for February 2018 were estimated at 122,433, an increase of 17.8 per cent when compared to the corresponding month in 2017. A total of 103,555 inbound tourist trips were carried out for holiday purposes, while a further 10,876 were undertaken for business purposes, while 8,001 trips to Malta where undertaken for other reasons (including educational, religious and health tourism). Inbound tourists from EU Member States went up by 17.1 per cent to 105,930 when compared to the corresponding month in 2017. Total nights spent went up by 11.2 per cent when compared to February 2017, amounting to 748,110 nights. Total tourist expenditure was estimated at €73.2 million, an increase of 4.7 per cent over the corresponding month in 2017. This means that in January-February 2018 inbound tourist trips for the first two months of 2018 reached 247,203, an increase of 18.9 per cent over the same period in 2017. Total nights spent by inbound tourists went up by 13.2 per cent, reaching nearly 1.6 million nights. Total tourism expenditure reached nearly €155.5 million, 10.5 per cent higher than that recorded for 2017. On the other hand, total expenditure per tourist capita stood at €629, a decrease of 7.1 per cent when compared to 2017.
Malta’s Latest Economic News
Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by traded value, with $1.6 billion of daily volume, announced on the 23rd March that is moving their headquarters to Malta. The exchange made over $200 million profit during quarter 1 of 2018.