Retail sales surge in Malta despite EU downturn

Malta is one of the few countries in the EU where retail sales increased last year.

Statistics published on the website of the European Union’s statistical agency, Eurostat, show that Malta was one of a few Member countries in which retail sales increased last year. In fact, according to the agency, shops in Malta increased sales by almost 3% even after adjusting for inflation. In contrast, across the Union there was a decrease of almost 2%. This means a five-percentage point difference in sales performance between retail establishments in Malta and the rest of Europe.

When looking at those member states with the largest reduction in activity in the retail sector, one notices countries where the Government was not able to aid households, especially when it comes to energy prices. In fact, countries such as Estonia saw a decrease of more than 8%, with a similar result in Hungary and an even worse blow, of almost 12%, in Slovenia. Even in Belgium, Sweden, and Slovakia there was a significant fall in sales. Meanwhile, in Germany, France, and the Netherlands there was a decrease of between 2% and 3%.

European Union-1.8%
Euro Area-1.8%
Malta2.6%
  
Belgium-6.1%
Germany-3.0%
Estonia-8.1%
Ireland1.1%
Spain7.2%
France-1.8%
Luxembourg3.7%
Hungary-7.8%
Netherlands-2.2%
Portugal1.1%
Slovenia-11.5%
Slovakia-4.2%
Sweden-5.2%

Meanwhile, statistics released by the National Statistics Office (NSO) indicate that last year was a record year even when it comes to vehicle purchases. In fact, more than 24,000 new licences were issued, which is an increase of 4% on the previous year.

Despite this extraordinary expenditure, Central Bank figures indicate that Maltese households’ deposits with local banks reached a record figure of €17 billion. This means an increase of almost €625 million on the level of savings a year earlier, representing a growth of 4%. It should be noted that, compared to 2013, deposits of Maltese households doubled. Four out of ten euros of this increase have occurred over the past four years, a period in which families have increased savings by almost €3.8 billion. 

Photo: Antonio Sokic

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