Provisional figures for Malta’s external transactions show that during October-December 2022, the current account balance recorded a deficit of €232.5 million, compared to a surplus of €93.7 million in the same quarter of the previous year. This deficit was primarily the result of negative net balances recorded in the goods account (€761.8 million), the primary income account (€556.7 million) and the secondary income account (€49.3 million). This was partly offset by a positive net balance in the services account (€1,135.3 million).
During the fourth quarter of 2022, the capital account registered a positive net balance of €75.6 million, €10.7 million higher than the figure recorded in 2021.
The financial account was shaped by net asset decreases of €661.5 million, a decrease in the balance of net assets of €877.9 million when compared to the value recorded in the same quarter of 2021. The development in the financial account balance was mainly brought about by negative net asset balances in direct investment (€2,475.7 million), other investment (€442.5 million) and financial derivatives (€150.1 million). This was partly offset by a positive net asset balance recorded in portfolio investment (€2,390.4 million). Reserve assets also increased by €16.4 million during the same period (Table 1).
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1. The National Statistics Office (NSO), with the cooperation of the Central Bank of Malta (CBM), is responsible for the collection, compilation and presentation of both the Balance of Payments (BOP) as well as the International Investment Position (IIP) statements of Malta. Both statements are compiled in accordance with the international guidelines set in the sixth manual of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as well as with the similarly-set methodological guidelines established by Eurostat.
2. The type of data collection system used to compile the above statistics is a composite system based on a monthly and annual direct reporting enterprise survey, customs data as well as various other sources that are identified from time to time by the BOP compilers. The surveys provide current account, capital account and financial account transactions conducted by all entities operating in Malta. Also, merchandise transactions conducted by Malta with its world trading partners are captured through INTRASTAT declarations as well as through customs documents.
3. The majority of the transactions that are collected through the above-mentioned sources are broken down by country. The data are subsequently compiled using a standard format and published at a quarterly frequency.
4. The data in this news release do not necessarily correspond to the latest published National Accounts data for the same reference period. This is due to different cut-off dates for the two sets of data.
5. Revisions are conducted on a quarterly basis with the previous data remaining subject to revision.
6. The reported quarterly figure for re-invested earnings (a component of both the income account and the direct investment account) is partly collated annually. Where actual figures are not available, an average of the re-invested earnings quoted for the previous four years is apportioned on a quarterly basis. This figure is then revised once the actual questionnaires are submitted by the surveyed entities.
7. Shipment data (freight and insurance) are measured from the c.i.f. INTRASTAT import data, while data for the travel account are collected from TOURSTAT and other administrative sources.
8. Adjustments for exports and imports of goods are made for BOP and National Accounts purposes, since merchandise trade data include imports and exports of oil made by non-resident companies having a Maltese VAT number. These are not considered as BOP transactions. Consequently, such imports and exports are being subtracted from the totals. Where necessary, oil imports by Maltese resident companies are imputed.
9. Figures are not seasonally adjusted.
10. Figures may not add up due to rounding.
11. Any reference to the EU in tables 3 and 4 refers to the formation excluding UK.
13. References to this news release are to be cited appropriately.
14. Statistics in this news release should be interpreted in context to the unprecedented developments related to COVID-19.
15. A detailed news release calendar is available online.