For any country, having a fiscal surplus means that it is independent of any financial burdens and that its economy is somewhat on the right track. This seems to be the case with Malta as the island country has registered a fiscal surplus of €392.7 million in the year 2017.
The fiscal surplus stood at 3.5 percent of the total GDP of the country, as per a statement by the National Statistics Office. Meanwhile, the total debt of €5,670.6 million amounts to 50.9 percent of the GDP.
On October 22, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat took to Twitter and also shared his happiness with the people of Malta. “Malta had the highest fiscal surplus in the EU in 2017, as confirmed by @EU_Eurostat. Data for first half of 2018 indicates similar trend. In #maltabudget19 we will continue rolling out our economic and social strategy (sic),” he tweeted.
The fiscal surplus was calculated by deducting the total expenditure of the island country – €4,031.3 million – from the total revenue – €4,424 million. According to NSO data, the fiscal surplus as a measure of GDP increased by 2.6 percent as it stood at 0.9 percent in the year 2016.
As per the data provided, the revenue in 2017 increased by €554.3 million while the expenditure only increased by €257.9 million. “The NSO said the figures were the result of adjustments in calculations that were necessary to shift from the Government’s Consolidated Fund into an accruals-based method in line with established methodology,” reported Times of Malta.
Malta’s surplus is the highest in the entire European Union and it is followed by another island nation – Cyprus. Malta’s surplus is 1.7 percent more than that of Cyprus which has a registered surplus of 1.8 percent. These two countries are followed by Sweden, Czechia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Bulgaria and Denmark, Germany, Croatia, Greece, Lithuania and Slovenia. Apart from these, all the other EU countries registered a fiscal deficit in the year 2017.