News - Economic Update 2019


Economic Update: Issue 5/2019

The Central Bank of Malta has just published its latest Economic Update based on information available up to 10 May 2019.

In April, the Bank’s Business Conditions Index (BCI) remained unchanged when compared with the previous month and continued to suggest above-average conditions. Economic sentiment, however, fell as confidence was lower across all sectors except amongst consumers, where sentiment improved.

In March, annual growth in the number of tourist arrivals picked up slightly, while their spending grew marginally on a year earlier following a contraction in February. Industrial production fell in annual terms. On the other hand, retail trade increased compared with March 2018.

Conditions in the labour market remained favourable in March, as the number of registered unemployed remained low from a historical perspective. The unemployment rate edged down to 3.5%, from 3.6% in February 2019.

The annual rate of inflation based on the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) stood unchanged at 1.3%, while the rate based on the Retail Price Index (RPI), which is the more relevant measure of consumer price inflation for domestic households, was stable at 1.9%.

Maltese residents’ deposits in the broad monetary aggregate M3 rose by 5.8% over the twelve months to March, while credit to residents rose by 5.1%.

The cash-based Consolidated Fund recorded a narrower deficit in March, compared with a year earlier.

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