02 July 2003

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Q1 GDP falls 1.9 per cent

Malta’s Gross Domestic Product fell by Lm3.2 million to Lm392.2 million in the first quarter this year when compared to the same quarter last year, which translates into negative growth of 0.8 per cent, the National Statistics Office reported yesterday. In real terms, the GDP decreased by 1.9 per cent to Lm330.4 million.
The Gross National Product, meanwhile, increased nominally by Lm5.9 million or 1.5 per cent to reach Lm406.5 million over the same quarter last year. In real terms GNP edged up by 0.1 per cent to Lm343.5 million.
The manufacturing, including shipyards, sector's nominal contribution to the GDP decreased by 1.1 per cent, or Lm0.8 million, to Lm78.1 million from Lm78.9 million last year. Reported profits fell by Lm3.4 million or 9.5 per cent from Lm35.6 million to Lm32.2 million. Although there was a fall in employment of two per cent, employment income increased by 5.9 per cent when compared to the same quarter last year. The manufacturing sector's share of GDP declined slightly from 23.4 per cent to 23.2 per cent over the same quarter last year.
The Wholesale and Retail Trade sector increased its value added by 7.4 per cent to Lm36.5 million, from Lm34million in the corresponding quarter last year. This increase was driven by an 8.1 per cent increase in profits which was fuelled by higher imports of consumer and capital goods. Employment income increased further, by 5.6 per cent, to Lm10.5 million from Lm10million in the corresponding period of 2002. The sector’s relative contribution to GDP rose to 10.9 per cent from 10.1 per cent.
The Insurance, Banking and Real Estate sector as a whole contributed positively to the GDP. The contribution of this sector stood at Lm32.5 million during the first quarter of 2002. However, this increased by 1.3 per cent, or Lm0.4 million, to Lm32.9 million this year. Overall, income from employment increased by 6.8 per cent or Lm0.8 million to Lm12.4 million. Both the insurance and the real estate sub-sectors showed a drop in wages of 1.6 and 0.5 per cent respectively, following a drop in the number of employees of 2.6 and two per cent. The income from employment of the banking sub-sector increased by 8.7 per cent although practically no change was registered in the number of employees. In addition, the sector’s overall profit component decreased by Lm0.4 million, or 1.8 per cent to Lm20.5 million when compared to Lm20.9 million last year. This drop in profits of 6.2 and 32 per cent was reflected both in the banking and in the insurance sub-sectors respectively. On the other hand, the real estate sub-sector contributed towards an increase in profits of 23.2 per cent. At 9.8 per cent, the sector’s relative contribution to GDP increased slightly from 9.6 per cent during the same quarter last year.
Income from property decreased by the Lm5.4 million or 15.8 per cent, from Lm34.1 million last year to Lm28.7 million. This was triggered by a fall of 22.8 per cent or Lm5.5 million in the interest component. Rental income went up marginally by Lm0.1 million or 0.5 per cent. The sector's relative contribution to GDP fell from 10.1 per cent to 8.5 per cent when compared to the same quarter last year.

Copyright © Newsworks Ltd. Malta.
Editor: Saviour Balzan
The Business Times, Newsworks Ltd, 2 Cali House, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann SGN 02, Malta
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