News - Economic Update 2019


Economic Update: Issue 4/2019

The Central Bank of Malta has just published its latest Economic Update based on information available up to 11 April 2019.

In March, the Bank's Business Conditions Index (BCI) eased when compared with the previous month, but continued to suggest above-average conditions. Economic sentiment also decreased as lower confidence was registered across most sectors, with the exception of the retail sector, where confidence rebounded.

In February, the number of tourist arrivals grew moderately on a year earlier, while expenditure by tourists in Malta decreased in annual terms. Industrial production also fell slightly in annual terms. On the other hand, retail trade increased compared with February 2018.

Conditions in the labour market remained favourable as the number of registered unemployed remained low from a historical perspective. The unemployment rate edged up marginally to 3.5% from 3.4% in January 2019.

The annual rate of inflation based on the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) rose to 1.3% in February, from 1.0% in January. Meanwhile, the rate based on the Retail Price Index, which is the more relevant measure of consumer price inflation for domestic households, accelerated to 1.9%, from 1.5%.

Maltese residents' deposits rose by 7.1% over the twelve months to February, while credit to residents rose by 6.3%.

The cash-based Consolidated Fund recorded a deficit compared with a surplus registered a year earlier.

The Economic Update is available on the website of the Central Bank of Malta.