16 - 22 May, 2001

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Gross domestic product up 6.9%

According to figures released yesterday by the National Office of Statistics, over the course of last year Malta’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the total market value of all the goods and services produced within the borders of a country, increased nominally by Lm101.1 million, or 6.9 per cent, over 1999’s figures. Meanwhile, in real terms the GDP grew by Lm63.0 million or 4.7 per cent.

At Lm1489.8 million, the Gross National Product (GNP), the total market value of all the goods and services produced by a nation, rose by Lm22.4 million, or 1.5 per cent, over the previous year.

However, GNP growth was dampened last year by a significant net outflow of investment income amounting to Lm66.0 million. As a result, real GNP contracted by 0.6 per cent compared to the previous year.

Last year’s economic growth mainly stemmed from the positive performance from export-driven Machinery and Transport Equipment sub-sector within the Manufacturing sector and the significant results registered by the Banking sub-sector within the Insurance, Banking and Real Estate sector. In fact, these two sectors accounted for almost all the recorded growth in the GDP at factor cost.

However, performance of the other economic sectors was either sluggish or negative.
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While signs of a recovery in the Construction and Quarrying and the Wholesale and Retail sectors started to appear, the performance of the Transport and Communications and the Government Enterprises sectors was adversely hit by the rise in international fuel prices. The rather subdued performance of the Private Services sector largely reflects the slowdown in tourism-related activity last year.
At Lm347.3 million, the contribution of the Manufacturing sector to the GDP grew by Lm57.1 million, or 19.7 per cent. While employment earnings increased by Lm4.5 million to Lm168.9 million, the sector’s profitability surged by Lm52.5 million to Lm178.4 million.
As a result of this positive performance, this sector’s relative share of the GDP went up to 26 per cent from 23.1 per cent a year earlier.
Insurance, Banking and Real Estate
Meanwhile, the contribution to the GDP of the Insurance, Banking and Real Estate sector grew by Lm21.9 million, or 22.2 per cent, to reach a pronounced Lm120.5 million. Employment income grew by Lm5.3 million to Lm47.2 million and profits surged by Lm16.5 million to Lm73.2 million. As a result, this sector’s relative share of the GDP climbed to 9 per cent from 7.8 per cent during the previous year.
Government enterprises
The largest decline, on the other hand, was registered by government enterprises. At Lm82.6 million, the sector’s contribution GDP declined by Lm17.2 million, or 17.3 per cent, from the previous year.
Within the sector, employment income shrunk by Lm0.9 million to Lm44.6 million. However, this sector’s profitability dropped by Lm16.3 million to Lm38.0 million. As a result, sector's relative share of the GDP shrunk to 6.2 per cent.
Construction and quarrying
The Construction and Quarrying sector improved its performance over the previous year and contributed Lm34.6 million to the GDP. Employment income increased by Lm1.2 million to Lm23.5 million while its profitability went up by Lm0.5 million to Lm11.1 million.
Transport and communications
The contribution of the Transport and Communications sector to the GDP went down by Lm4.5 million or 5.2 per cent to Lm82.1 million. Within this sector, employment income rose by Lm3.5 million to Lm49.7 million. However, its profitability dipped by Lm7.9 million to Lm32.5 million. At 6.2 per cent, this sector’s relative share of the GDP contracted when compared to the previous year.
Public administration
Meanwhile, the Public Administration sector grew by Lm6.8 million or 3.6 per cent to Lm197.6 million due to an increase in the amount paid by government by way of compensation to its employees.
Property and private services
Income from property rose by Lm2.2 million or 1.5 per cent to Lm144.2 million. Likewise, the Private Services sector grew by another Lm2.3 million to Lm148.0 million. While, in this sector, employment income rose by Lm2.5 million to Lm99.2 million, its profitability declined by Lm0.3 million to Lm48.7 million.
Agriculture and fishing
Over last year, the contribution of the Agriculture and Fishing sector to the GDP declined over the previous year by Lm0.4 million to Lm31.3 million. Although, within this sector, employment income increased marginally, the sector’s profitability dropped by Lm0.5 million to Lm26.9 million.
Wholesale and retail
Meanwhile, during the period under review, the Wholesale and Retail sector saw its contribution to the GDP growing by Lm6.5 million or 4.6 per cent over the previous year. Within this sector, employment income increased by Lm2.7 million to Lm39.1 million. Its profitability went up by Lm3.8 million to Lm107.8 million.
Expenditure aggregates
In the year under review, total final expenditure at current market prices grew by Lm464.6 million or 16.3 per cent when compared to the previous year. In real terms, total final expenditure went up by Lm198.8 million or 7.6 per cent to Lm2827.7 million.
Over 63.3 per cent of the recorded increase in nominal total final expenditure resulted from the recorded increase in exports of goods and services. These increased by a nominal Lm294.2 million or 22.3 per cent to Lm1615.5 million. In real terms, exports of goods and services surged by Lm75.3 million or 6.1 per cent to Lm1306.0 million.
In the period under review, consumer expenditure went up by a nominal Lm76.2 million or 8.3 per cent to Lm991.2 million. Real consumer expenditure increased by Lm50.8 million or 6.1 per cent to Lm879.8 million.
At Lm290.6 million, government current expenditure was up by Lm18.0 million or 6.6 per cent. In real terms, government current expenditure increased by Lm12.1 million or 5 per cent to Lm252.7 million.
In the course of last year, investment in machinery accounted for most of the recorded increase of Lm69.0 million in gross fixed capital formation. In real terms, gross fixed capital formation went up by Lm54.5 million or 17.0 per cent to Lm375.4 million.

The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt