About Malta

Malta is classified as an advanced economy together with 32 other countries according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).  Since there are no natural resources in Malta, the country has had to rely on its favorable climate for tourism revenue in the past together with its proficient and well educated English speaking workforce to power its economy.  While tourism has been the single most important factor for the economy in the past, the country has now strategically positioned itself as hub for financial services.  The legal and tax system has therefore been optimized, to make Malta more interesting to companies that wish to do business here.  This has resulted in unprecedented growth in the industry over the last few years, with the registration of hundreds of companies and the generation of thousands of jobs. Financial services already account for 12 per cent of Malta’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Economic data on Malta 2023 ( Source; Central Bank of Malta )

Output, employment and prices

The Maltese economy continued to grow robustly during 2023, extending the strong pace of activity recorded in recent years. Growth in real gross domestic product (GDP) was primarily driven by net exports, though domestic demand also contributed to growth, as higher private consumption offset negative contributions from government consumption, investment and changes in inventories. Sector data show that services continued to be the main driver of growth in gross value added (GVA). The strongest contributions were recorded in the sectors incorporating professional and scientific activities, arts and entertainment, and public administration. The manufacturing sector also contributed positively, though to a lesser extent. In contrast, GVA in the construction sector declined from the peak recorded in 2022, but remained high from a historical perspective. Labour Force Survey (LFS) data for the first three quarters of 2023 show that, against the backdrop of a buoyant economy, employment continued to rise and unemployment fell further, with the unemployment rate reaching a new low. These favourable labour market developments are corroborated by data based on administrative sources, which show that on average, in 2023 the number of registered unemployed fell significantly on a year earlier. Price pressures in Malta remained well below the EU average.  HICP inflation in 2023 reached 5.6%, despite energy prices being kept at 2020 levels by government intervention.  Inflation in 2024 and 2025 is forecast at 2.9% and 2.7% respectively, with continuing pressures in food and services prices while retail energy prices are set to remain stable due to government intervention.

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Malta is ideally situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, located 90Km south of Sicily and 300Km north of Libya. Although it has a population of over 500,000 inhabitants it has over 3 million tourist arrivals each year.

Gross domestic product

After exceptional growth in 2022 (8.1%), real GDP growth is estimated to have remained strong at 6.1% in 2023. This is higher than projected in the Autumn Forecast and is due to upward revisions of economic activity in the first two quarters of last year and high growth of 2.4% in the third. Private consumption and net exports grew strongly. By contrast, gross fixed capital formation declined, amid weaker construction activity in 2023. The base effect of the acquisition of aircrafts in 2022 also weighed on investment growth. Growth in the last quarter of 2023 is estimated to have been moderate given an expected recovery of imports to support strong domestic demand at the end of the year.


In a press conference on the 12th February 2024, Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo announced that 2023 proved to be the best year of all time for Malta’s tourism industry, which includes the number of inbound tourists, as well as the number of guest nights spent in Malta, and in terms of tourist expenditure. The results on the country’s best tourism year were presented by Deputy CEO and Chief Officer for Strategic Development of the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) Leslie Vella.  Vella said that 2023 saw over 3 million tourists reaching the islands, an 8.3% increase when compared to 2019’s 2.77 million tourists. This includes the number of tourists who spent a night in Malta on board cruise liners, over and above the 2,975,670 listed in the total number of arrivals by the NSO earlier today.  Malta’s tourism growth also surpasses the European recovery from the pandemic, which stood at 94% of its 2019 levels. The only country which exceeded Malta’s growth in 2023 was Albania, a newcomer to the industry, Vella said.  He explained the top tourism markets, where for the first time, Italy has surpassed the United Kingdom, amounting to 18.4% of tourists, while British tourists amounted to 18.1%.

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