Between January and October 2018, recurrent revenue rose by €213.9 million and amounted to €3,496 million. This represented a 6.5% increase from the €3,282.1 million reported in revenue during the corresponding 10 months of 2017. The increase was primarily the result of higher Income Tax (€103.6 million), Value Added Tax (€71.6 million), Social Security (€68.1 million), Licences, Taxes and Fines (€42.8 million), Customs and Excise Duties (€10.9 million), Dividends on Investment (€1.6 million) and Rents (€0.4 million).

Total expenditure by the end of October 2018 stood at €3,520 million, reflecting an increase of €242.3 million or 7.4% from 2017. Recurrent expenditure totalled €3,018.9 million, €159.9 million higher than the corresponding amount reported by the end of October 2017. The main contributor to this increase was a €54.6 million rise reported under Programmes and Initiatives. Furthermore, rises in outlay were also registered by Personal Emoluments, Contributions to Government Entities (both €49.5 million) and Operational and Maintenance Expenses (€6.3 million). The main developments in the Programmes and Initiatives category involved added outlays due to social security benefits (€27.2 million), state contribution (€23.3 million which also features as revenue), tax relief measures (€11.2 million), Malta Freeport interest payments (€9.5 million), health concession agreements (€8.9 million), feed in tariff (€5.7 million) and solid waste management strategy (€4.9 million).

The interest component of the public debt servicing costs amounted to €175.0 million, a €6.7 million drop from the €181.7 million reported in 2017. Government’s capital expenditure registered an increase of €89.1 million from the same period last year, and was recorded at €326.1 million. This was mainly the result of higher outlay on EU structural funds 2014-2020 (€24.4 million), road construction and improvements (€23.9 million), EU cohesion funds 2014-2020 (€16.7 million), EU internal security fund - borders and visa (€8.7 million), EU European agricultural fund for rural development 2014-2020 (€6.7 million), investment incentives (€5.0 million) and national identity management systems (€3.1 million).

The difference between total revenue and expenditure resulted in a deficit of €24.1 million being reported in the Government’s Consolidated Fund by the end of October 2018, compared to a surplus of €4.3 million in the same period in 2017.

By the end of October 2018, Central Government Debt stood at €5,211.8 million, a €394.1 million decrease from the corresponding month last year. This was the result of lower Malta Government Stocks and Foreign Loans that decreased by €635.6 million and €10.4 million respectively.

Inflation decreases slightly in October 2018

In October 2018, the annual rate of inflation as measured by the Retail Price Index (RPI) was 1.62%, down from 1.64%in September 2018. This was the first month on month decrease since March 2018.

Inbound Tourism numbers keeps on increasing, expenditure per capita on the decrease

Inbound tourist trips for the first ten months of 2018 surpassed 2.3 million, an increase of 15% over the same period in 2017. Total nights spent by inbound tourists went up by 12.9%, reaching nearly 16.6 million nights. Total tourism expenditure was estimated at nearly €1.9 billion, 8.6% higher than that recorded for 2017. Total expenditure per capita stood at €825, a decrease of 5.5% when compared to 2017.

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During the Q3 2018, total guests in collective accommodation establishments numbered 578,350, while total nights spent amounted to almost 3.3 million. The largest share of guest nights was reported in 4-star hotels, accounting for over 1.5 million nights, or 46.1 % of the total. The average length of stay in collective accommodation establishments stood at 5.7 nights in the third quarter of 2018, down by 0.1 of a night when compared with the same quarter of 2017. The net use of bed-places stood at 84.1%, up by 2.2 percentage points when compared to the corresponding quarter of 2017.

Total guests during the first nine months of 2018 surpassed 1.5 million, an increase of 9.8% over the same period in 2017. Total nights spent went up by 7.2%, exceeding 7.9 million. The net use of bed-places advanced by 2.9 percentage points to 71.1%.

“Malta is prepared for a no-deal Brexit scenario” Malta’s European Affairs Minister Helena Dalli on the 30th November, 2018

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