In the latest Economic Update, the Central Bank of Malta said that in May, tourism activity continued to grow at a strong pace in annual terms. In contrast, industrial production and retail trade contracted. Labour market conditions remained favourable, said the CBM, with the number of registered unemployed declining further and the unemployment rate falling to a new historical low. Economic sentiment edged down slightly, said the CBM, as the construction industry was less optimistic.
The annual rate of inflation based on the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) rose to 1.7% in May. The annual rate of change of Maltese residents’ deposits and annual growth in credit to residents accelerated to 7.7% and 2.4% respectively.
Meanwhile, the Consolidated Fund recorded a surplus in contrast to a deficit in May 2017. In June, the Bank’s Business Conditions Index (BCI) remained unchanged over the previous month, and continued to suggest above-average conditions.