The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that Malta’s economic growth continues to be one of the strongest in Europe, resulting in rapid income convergence towards the European Union (EU) average.
In its concluding statement of the 2019 Article IV mission, the IMF said that prudent policies and reform efforts have contributed to the strengthening of private and public-sector balance sheets, while steady job creation has driven unemployment to historically low levels.
“Growth prospects remain favorable, yet mounting pressure on infrastructure, rapidly rising housing costs, as well as shortages of labour and skills increasingly pose challenges.”
“Improving infrastructure, reducing fiscal risks and enhancing labor supply are key policy priorities to sustain high growth and promote inclusiveness.”
“Attention should also be given to safeguarding financial stability and integrity, including against the risks attached to new activities involving virtual financial assets.”
Among its recommendations for Malta, the IMF mentioned safeguarding financial integrity by continuing the reforms and swiftly remedying identified deficiencies in the implementation of the anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) framework.
It also said that Malta should guarantee the long-term independence of the supervisor, increase supervisory capacity, and enhance monitoring of the non-bank financial sector and close remaining data gaps.