Government account registers €35 million deficit in April, but unemployment lowest in Malta’s history

Lower EU grants result in 10.2% decline in government revenue compared to last year, while expenditure up 12.3%

The government's consolidated fund registered a drop of €69 million in April compared to the surplus in the corresponding period last year, the Central Bank's June economic update shows
The government's consolidated fund registered a drop of €69 million in April compared to the surplus in the corresponding period last year, the Central Bank's June economic update shows

The government’s consolidated fund recorded a deficit of €35.1 million in April this year, marking a deterioration of €69.1 million compared to the surplus registered in April 2017.

Figures published in the Central Bank’s June economic update indicate that this development is caused by increased government expenditure, coupled with a drop in total revenue. Government revenue is down €33.3 million from the same period last year, equivalent to a drop of 10.2%, mainly the result of less non-tax income due to lower grants from the European Union.

Total expenditure increased by €35.8 million, or 12.3%, compared to the corresponding period in 2017, due to higher recurrent and capital expenditure. Most of this - €23.7 million - is a result of increased government spending on programmes and initiatives.

Unemployment has never been lower

Jobsplus data shows that the number of unemployed persons in April dropped to 1,847, compared to 2,577 a year earlier, and to 1,954 in March 2018.

The unemployment rate fell to 3% in April - compared to 3.3% in March and 4.2% in the same period last year - which marks the lowest rate ever recorded in Malta.

Industrial production down

The index of industrial production, which measures economic activity in the quarrying, manufacturing and energy sectors, fell at an annual rate of 6.2% in April, following a decline of 4.8% in March.

The April drop was mostly caused by lower production of computer, electronics and optical products. The losses offset increased production by firms involved in printing and the reproduction of recorded media, and those manufacturing pharmaceuticals.

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