Economic growth looks set to continue for Malta, with budget predictions indicating a 6.5% increase in 2022, representing a full recovery from COVID-19.
According to Finance Minister Clyde Caruana, growth is forecasted at 4.7% in 2023 and 4.5% in 2024.
Speaking in Parliament as he announced the budget for the coming year, Caruana noted that at the start of the pandemic, many predicted that the country’s economy was doomed, with massive employment a likely scenario.
Despite this, the minister said, Malta had succeeded in saving many businesses and was the only EU country that saw an increase in employment. Caruana said that the pandemic had so far cost Malta €1.5 billion.
This marked a significant improvement from 2020, which actually saw the economy shrink by 8.3%.
Positively, the 2022 deficit is forecast at 11.1%, down from the 12% forecast in April 2021; while the deficit to GDP ratio is predicted to however around 61% and 62.4% over the next few years.
In terms of other key announcements, the minister confirmed that the cost of living adjustment is set at €1.75 for next year, also unveiling plans to set up a new mechanism that’s independent of COLA that will be addressed to help vulnerable families.
Few details were given on the mechanism – with the minister revealing that there will be discussions over the plans in the coming days.
Meanwhile, there were several key proposals when it came to employment – from increasing benefits for shift workers and initiatives aimed to keep pensioners in the workplace.
What do you think of the prediction?