Clarification to the Ministry of Finance and the Department of Information

GOVERNMENT AND MFIN PRESS RELEASES – PR171749 AND PR171750

Reference is made to the press releases issued by the Ministry of Finance and the Department of Information, specifically but not limited to PR171749 and PR171750, dated 20th July 2017. Both cover Eurostat news release on the quarterly general government deficit / surplus and debt data in the EU Member States.

In this press release it was omitted that the figures referred to seasonal adjusted data.

Whilst Eurostat publishes seasonal adjusted data, which in the latest release showed a surplus for Malta of €89.9 million or 3.5% of GDP for period 2017Q1, the NSO news release 109/2017 ‘Quarterly Accounts for the General Government sector: 2017Q1’ published non-seasonal adjusted data and showed a surplus of €44.2 million or 1.8% of GDP.

Therefore three differing figures of fiscal balances are reported: the Consolidated Fund, the ESA data, and the seasonal-adjusted ESA data, which is a statistical method for removing the seasonal component of a time series that exhibits a seasonal pattern. The main difference between the ESA and the Consolidated data is that the latter is presented on a cash basis.

Reuben Fenech
Director General, NSO