Statistics released by Eurostat indicate that 2021 has been a good year for the retail sector in Malta. In December retail trade was 5% better than in the same month a year earlier. This is twice the result achieved on average across the European Union.
This confirms how much the economic recovery in our country is stronger than in the rest of the Union. In several European countries trade activity in December was significantly lower than that observed a year ago. Among others, in Ireland, Spain, Austria and Finland retail sales were 3% lower.
In several European countries trade activity in December was significantly lower than that observed a year ago.
Results for December were not among the best for the year due to Omicron’s impact. Eurostat data indicate that shops in our country have seen growing activity since March. Moreover, since July sales have been growing in Malta at a much higher rate than in the rest of Europe. This is likely to reflect two factors.
First, in our country we have had a strong tourism recovery since July, and not only because the number of tourists increased. More importantly tourists are spending far more than they used to spend before the pandemic.
Secondly, while across Europe in the second half of the year families were being burdened with extraordinary electricity and fuel hikes, here in Malta they have benefitted from stable prices.
Looking at the year as a whole, it turns out that retail establishments have had an 8% turnover increase in our country, one and a half times the growth in Europe. In addition, Eurostat statistics indicate that sales in Malta in 2021 were even better than in 2019, exceeding activity before the pandemic started.
This is the best sign that last year Malta resumed the path back to normality.