The National Statistics Office (NSO) said that during the third quarter this year, Malta’s current account balance remained unchanged from a net surplus of €163 million in last year’s corresponding period.

Provisional estimates on Malta’s external economic and financial transactions during the third quarter this year reveal a current account balance similar to that recorded during the corresponding period in 2012.

The main account registering improvement over the year-ago period was the goods account, this year showing a deficit of €264.0 million. This improvement was counterbalanced by adverse movements in the net balances of the other main accounts making up the current account part of the statement.

The goods account was affected by a fall in import outlays of €49.7 million that more than offset the unfavourable decline in export receipts of €30.5 million. On the other hand, the net positive balance in the services account decreased by €9.1 million as a result of a significant deterioration in the other services account of €47.0 million; this decrease outweighed completely the favourable improvements registered in the net balances of both the transport account and the travel account, of €22.0 million and €15.9 million respectively, NSO said.

Moreover, the net negative balance in the income account increased by €3.2 million, while the net positive balance in the current transfers account decreased by €6.4 million.

The capital account was marked by net inflows of €38.1 million as compared to net inflows of €30.6 million during the third quarter of last year; whereas the financial account was characterised by net outflows of €276.7 million when compared to net outflows of €148.1 million during the September quarter in 2012.

NSO said that direct investment in Malta increased by €173.6 million as compared to an increase of €82.7 million in the July to September quarter in 2012; whereas direct investment abroad increased by €4.4 million as opposed to a decline of €54.3 million in the third quarter last year.

The portfolio investment account recorded net outflows of €1,716.7 million as against net outflows of €453.4 million during the September 2012 quarter; while the financial derivatives account recorded net outflows of €93.2 million as compared to net outflows of €18.3 million in the July to September period in 2012. On the other hand, the other investment account registered net inflows of €1,363.0 million as against net inflows of €162.1 million during the third quarter of 2012.

Mirroring the above movements in the statement, the reserve assets of the country dropped slightly by €0.9 million. Transactions of Malta with the European Union (EU) and the rest of the world during the period under review, Malta’s current account balance with the European Union improved by €49.1 million, while the same balance measured with the rest of the world deteriorated by €48.6 million when compared to the third quarter last year.

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