Malta/Economy

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Economy - overview: Major resources are limestone, a favorable geographic location, and a productive labor force. Malta produces only about 20% of its food needs, has limited freshwater supplies, and has no domestic energy sources. The economy is dependent on foreign trade, manufacturing (especially electronics and textiles), and tourism; the state-owned Malta drydocks employs about 3,800 people. In 1999, over 1 million tourists visited the island. Per capita GDP of $13,800 places Malta in the ranks of the less affluent EU countries. The island is divided politically over the question of joining the EU. The sizable budget deficit remains a key concern.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $5.3 billion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 4% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $13,800 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 3%
industry: 26%
services: 71% (1997 est.)

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.8% (1999 est.)

Labor force: 143,700 (October 1997)

Labor force - by occupation: industry 24%, services 71%, agriculture 5% (1999 est.)

Unemployment rate: 5.5% (September 1999)

Budget:
revenues: $1.32 billion
expenditures: $1.76 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1998 est.)

Industries: tourism; electronics, ship building and repair, construction; food and beverages, textiles, footwear, clothing, tobacco

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity - production: 1.62 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 1.507 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: potatoes, cauliflower, grapes, wheat, barley, tomatoes, citrus, cut flowers, green peppers; pork, milk, poultry, eggs

Exports: $1.8 billion (f.o.b., 1998)

Exports - commodities: machinery and transport equipment, manufactures

Exports - partners: France 20.7%, US 18.1%, Germany 12.6%, UK 7.7%, Italy 4.8% (1998)

Imports: $2.7 billion (f.o.b., 1998)

Imports - commodities: machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods; food, drink, and tobacco

Imports - partners: Italy 19.3%, France 17.8%, UK 12.4%, Germany 10.5%, US 8.9% (1998)

Debt - external: $130 million (1997)

Economic aid - recipient: $NA

Currency: 1 Maltese lira (LM) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Maltese liri (LM) per US$1 - 0.4086 (January 2000), 0.3994 (1999), 0.3885 (1998), 0.3857 (1997), 0.3604 (1996), 0.3529 (1995)

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March