19 DECEMBER 2001

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Highest birth rate and worst deficit for Malta among EU applicant countries

Statistics released by the Malta-EU Information Centre show that among the candidate countries Malta had the fifth highest GDP growth rate in 2000 and the highest budget deficit at minus 7.8 per cent of the GDP.

Malta’s growth rate at 5 per cent is on par with that of Hungary and better than that of Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. Estonia had the highest growth rate at 6.9 per cent.

Malta’s deficit for 1999 surpassed that of all the other candidate countries. In addition Malta had the worst external debt at a massive 227.7 per cent of the GDP in 1999. The country that has a massive external debt closest to Malta is Cyprus, which has a debt of 160.9 per cent.

The figures also show that 59.9 per cent of Malta’s imports during 2000 came from the EU, while only 33.5 per cent of local exports went to EU countries.

The environment indicators show that Malta had the fourth highest municipal waste production during 1999 at 357 kilos per inhabitant.

Demographic data shows that Malta has one of the youngest populations. In 2000 the proportion of the population aged less than 15 years stood at 20.4 per cent, which is second only to Cyprus. Malta and Cyprus also had the highest birth rates at 11.1 per 1,000 inhabitants and 12.8 per 1,000 inhabitants, respectively.

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