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News - Economic Update 2019

15/03/2019

Economic Update: Issue 3/2019

The Central Bank of Malta has just published its latest Economic Update based on information available up to 13 March 2019.

In February, the Bank's Business Conditions Index (BCI) was eased slightly when compared with the previous month, and continued to suggest above-average conditions. Economic sentiment increased as higher confidence was registered across all components, notably within the services and retail sectors. 

In January, the annual rate of change of tourism activity moderated compared with December, while year-on-year growth in industrial production and retail trade turned positive.

Conditions in the labour market remained favourable as the number of registered unemployed remained low from a historical perspective. The unemployment rate was stable compared with December and January 2018, at 3.8%.

The annual rate of inflation based on the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) fell to 1.0% in January, from 1.2% in December. The rate based on the Retail Price Index, which is the more relevant measure of consumer price inflation for domestic households, remained unchanged at 1.5%.

Maltese residents' deposits rose by 5.5% over the twelve months to January, while credit to residents rose by 5.4%.

Meanwhile, the cash-based Consolidated Fund deficit widened on that registered a year earlier. 

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

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