Between July and September 2023, the government deficit in Malta continued to decrease, and so did government debt as a proportion of national wealth, Eurostat – the statistical office of the European Union – confirms.
While across the EU there was on average a deficit of 2.8% of national wealth in the third quarter of 2023, that in Malta was 2.2%. The deficit observed in Malta is just under half what it was a year ago, and for the third quarter in a row it was below the European Union average. The strength of the Maltese economy is such that, despite the generous package of aid tailored by the Maltese government to counter the economic impact of the increase in international prices, the deficit is still falling sharply.
The largest deficit in the EU is that in Slovakia, where the deficit is 7%, or more than three times that in Malta.
In the same quarter of 2023, Malta had a reduction in the national debt burden which was slightly greater than the decrease across the EU. The national debt decreased by 2.1 percentage points of national wealth at a juncture when, across the EU, the national debt burden decreased by 2 percentage points.
Eurostat figures show that Malta has not had a national debt burden over 60% of national wealth since the third quarter of 2015. This is the benchmark of the Maastricht Treaty when it comes to the sustainability of the national debt. In fact, in the third quarter of 2023 Malta had a debt rate of 49.3%, the seventh lowest in the euro area. By comparison, in the first quarter of 2013, this burden amounted to 69.8% of national wealth. The highest debt in the euro area is in Greece, 166%, while the average is 90%.
The fact that Malta has a national debt rate among the lowest in history and below 50% allows the Government to continue to adopt a policy of economic and social investment that will enable the country to counter the effects of inflation while continuing the investment needed to future-proof the country.
Photo: Dalibor Vilovski