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Malta’s current account balance recorded a net deficit of €102.9 million for the first quarter this year.
The National Statistics Office said that provisional estimates on Malta’s external economic and financial transactions during the first quarter report a current account deficit of €102.9 million, compared to a net deficit of €79.5 million registered during the corresponding quarter last year.
Contributing to this comparative widening in the current account deficit were essentially an increase of €52.5 million in the net negative balance of the goods account, as well as a decline of €15.5 million in the net positive balance of the services account of the statement.
The goods account was shaped by a decline of €104.2 million in export receipts, which more than offset the favourable drop of €51.8 million in expenditure on imports. The services account was influenced by a deterioration in the net balances of both the transport account and the other services account, of €6.0 million and €8.9 million respectively.
However, when compared to the corresponding period last year, the deterioration registered in the current account balance was partially mitigated by an improvement in the net balances of both the current transfers account, as well as of the income account of the statement.
Driven by an increase in government transfer receipts from abroad, the net balance in the current transfers account improved by €42.3 million; whereas the net negative balance in the income account contracted by €2.3 million.
Net inflows in the capital account amounted to €57.1 million as compared to €10.0 million during the March quarter last year; while net outflows in the financial account were estimated at €159.8 million, compared to €132.3 million for the first quarter last year.
Direct investment in Malta declined by €32.8 million whereas direct investment abroad increased by €11.9 million. The portfolio investment account was marked by net out? ows of €434.7 million; while the ? nancial derivatives account was shaped by net in? ows of €16.4 million. The other investment account recorded net in? ows of €257.5 million.
As a result of the above transactions, the reserve assets of the country declined by €45.8 million, compared to an increase of €126.1 million during the March quarter last year.
Malta’s current account balance with the European Union improved by €152.7 million, from a net de? cit of €387.4 million during the March 2012 quarter, to one of €234.7 million this year. On the contrary, the current account balance with the rest of the world worsened by €176.1 million, from a net surplus of €307.9 million to one of €131.8 million during the period under review ??