Consistent improvement in the fiscal balance in the first nine months of 2017
A surplus of €56.4m was recorded in the consolidated fund balance for the first nine months of this year. This represented an improvement of €120.1m in the consolidated fund balance, turning a deficit of €63.6m recorded in January to September last year, to a surplus this year.
This significant improvement was the result of notable increases in all the main revenue categories, while growth in expenditure remained contained. Indeed, during the period January to September of this year, recurrent revenue increased by €346.7m or 13.2% while total expenditure increased by €226.6m or 8.4%.
The largest increase in revenue was recorded in income tax (€83.4m), reflecting the robust growth in employment recorded in recent years backed by the making work pay budget initiatives. Indirect tax revenues including VAT, customs and excise duties as well as licenses, taxes and fines continued to record significant increases reflecting both the dynamic growth in private consumption and Malta’s positive performance in net trade. The government’s salary bill increased by 5.6%.
The Minister for Finance said: “It is encouraging to note this year’s consistent improvements in the consolidated fund balance over last year’s already successful outcome. I am also pleased to note that the fiscal performance for the first nine months of this year is better than the Budget projections for the same period, auguring well for the endof-year fiscal outturn.”