Statistics published a few days ago by the European Union’s statistical office, Eurostat show that, for the first time ever, in 2022 Malta’s GDP per capita reached that of the Euro area average.
This means that the target set in proposal number 2 of the ruling party’s electoral manifesto is being achieved. That proposal had said that, now that Malta has exceeded the GDP per capita of the EU, the aim would be to exceed that of the Euro area as well.
The first time Malta’s GDP per capita exceeded that of the EU average was in 2017. However, because the economies of the Euro area are richer than those of the European Union, our country still had a gap with these economically more advanced countries. The pandemic was a bigger economic hit to Malta compared to the rest of the Euro area, mainly because our economy is more dependent on tourism.
Yet, in the years following 2020, in addition to tourism recovering faster than predicted, other sectors – especially those of the professional and digital services – grew at a very strong pace. Already in 2021, Malta had recovered its losses. Then, in 2022, for the first time Malta ended up reaching the Euro area average in terms of GDP per capita.
This year, the Euro area economies are doing very badly and are hardly expected to grow. In contrast, the Maltese economy continues to grow at a very strong rate. So, although the official figures for 2023 are not yet compiled, it is certain that the Maltese GDP per capita will now exceed the Euro area average. This means that, in just one year, a key economic target of the government’s electoral mandate will have been achieved.
Meanwhile, Malta’s GDP per capita is 104% of the European Union average. This is the best level observed since 2019 in this indicator and is yet another confirmation of how strongly the Maltese economy has recovered from the shock of the pandemic. It is also evidence that the economy has emerged unscathed from the energy price crisis that has crippled other countries.