VALLETTA, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- At a 5.7 percent growth rate in the first half of 2018, Malta's economy is the fastest growing within the eurozone, according to data released by the rating agency DBRS on Tuesday.
In its macro update for Europe, the agency reported that Malta's real GDP growth in the first six months was significantly higher than the euro area average of 2.3 percent.
Latvia and Slovenia placed second and third with growth rates of 4.4 percent and 4.3 percent respectively.
In addition to its rate of economic growth, DBRS also noted that Malta's unemployment level was among the lowest in the eurozone at 3.9 percent. The lowest level of unemployment was registered in Germany at 3.4 percent.
The rating agency described growth in the euro area as off to "a weak start" in 2018. It added, however, that it remained steady.
"Growth was driven by household consumption and gross fixed investment. By country, the top performers include Malta, Latvia, and Slovenia, while the underperformers include Italy, Belgium and France," DBRS said.
At its September policy meeting, the European Central Bank (ECB) revised downwards its economic growth forecast for the eurozone in 2018 from 2.1 percent to 2.0 percent. The projection for 2019 was also revised downward to 1.8 percent from 1.9 percent.