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News - Economic Update 2018

16/03/2018

Economic Update: Issue 3/2018

The Central Bank of Malta has just published its latest Economic Update based on information available up to 13 March 2018.

In February, the Bank's Business Conditions Index (BCI) was unchanged on a month earlier, and continued to suggest above-average conditions. Economic sentiment edged up, reflecting gains across all sectors except services.

In January, retail sales and tourism activity grew in annual terms, while industrial production contracted slightly.

Labour market conditions remained favourable, with the number of registered unemployed falling in annual terms and the unemployment rate falling to a new record low of 3.5%.

The annual rate of inflation based on the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) eased to 1.2% in January.

Meanwhile, the annual rate of change of Maltese residents' deposits rose to 7.9%, while credit to residents increased by 1.7%.

As regards fiscal developments, in the first month of the year, the cash-based Consolidated Fund showed a narrower deficit compared with January 2017.

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

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