Updated 5.23pm

Malta's economy grew by 5 per cent in 2016, making it the fastest-growing economy in the European Union that year. 

In nominal terms, GDP grew by 6.7 per cent. 

Figures released by the National Statistics Office and EU statistical agency Eurostat showed that the local economy grew across almost all sectors, with double-digit growth rates in the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector (12.4 per cent), professional, scientific and technical and administrative and support sector (11.9 per cent), and the information and communication sector (11.6 per cent).

In a statement, the government said the high growth rate was reflected in various other economic benchmarks, from a €164 million increase in private consumption of households, unemployment at just 4.8 per cent and 7,500 new private sector jobs in the months up to September 2016. 

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna said the GDP data confirmed reports by various credit rating agencies that growth had "surpassed pre-crisis levels and is settling at new highs." 

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