VALLETTA, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- Malta's gross domestic product (GDP) fell by almost 9 percent in the third quarter (Q3) of the year compared to the same period last year, the country's statistical office said on Friday.
The National Statistics Office said that according to provisional estimates, the GDP dropped by 312.6 million euros (373.70 million U.S. dollars) to 3,221.3 million euros by the end of September.
This contraction in the GDP followed that of the second quarter when it dropped by 15 percent between April and June which was characterized by a widespread economic slowdown caused by restrictions to limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This drop was mainly driven by accommodation and food service activities (-58 percent), transportation and storage activities (-38.0 percent), administrative and support services activities (-16.8 percent), wholesale and retail trade activities (-13.4 percent), professional, scientific and technical activities (-7.9 percent) and real estate activities (-3.3 percent). Construction and the agriculture and fishing sectors also saw a decline of 1.6 and 5.6 percent respectively.
Meanwhile, Malta's financial woes were further highlighted by the country's Central Bank, which issued an interim financial stability report on Friday in which it warned financial institutions should remain vigilant to new risks and keep a healthy capital and liquidity position.
In its report, the bank said the recovery of the financial sector depends largely on economic recovery, which, in turn, depends on how quickly consumer and business confidence recover.
"This also depends on the timing of the rollout of a vaccine. In the meantime, banks should seek to continue to adopt prudent lending practices and continue to recognize provisions where required, to avoid any possible cliff effects..." the central bank said.
The report said that the containment measures in place to stop the pandemic invariably affected economic activity, bringing a number of sectors to a halt.
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