The Central Bank of Malta’s Business Conditions’ Index (BCI) remained unchanged when compared with the previous month, continuing to suggest slightly above-average conditions.
In a press release issued by the Central Bank of Malta on its monthly economic update, it said that “economic sentiment rose above its long-term average during the month. Higher confidence in the services and industrial sectors offset lower sentiment across all other subcomponents, notably in construction.”
In August, annual growth in tourist arrivals was higher than that registered a month earlier. Industrial production also rose at a faster pace compared with July. Similarly, the volume of retail trade grew significantly over a year earlier.
Conditions in the labour market continued to be favourable, the Central bank found, with the number of registered unemployed and the unemployment rate remaining low “from a historical perspective.”
The annual inflation rate based on the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) edged up to 1.9 per cent in August. 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 1.7 per cent.
Maltese residents’ deposits grew at a slower annual pace of 4.6 per cent in the year to August, while credit to Maltese residents rose by 5.8 per cent over this period.