Employment & Unemployment

Gainfully Occupied Population: In November 2017, registered full-time employment increased by 5.4 per cent while part-time employment as a primary job increased by 3.0 per cent when compared to the corresponding month in 2016.

Inflation

In March 2018, the annual rate of inflation as measured by the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) remained at a constant rate of 1.3 per cent. The twelve-month moving average rate for March increased to a rate of 1.3 per cent. The largest upward impact on annual inflation was recorded in the Restaurants and Hotels Index (0.45 percentage points), mainly reflecting higher prices of restaurant services (including cafés and similar outlets). The largest downward impact was recorded in the Clothing and Footwear Index (0.05 percentage points), attributed to lower prices of garments.

Inbound Tourism

Total cruise passenger traffic during the first quarter of 2018 amounted to 69,742, a decrease of 18.2 per cent over the corresponding period in 2017. There were 17 cruise liner calls during the first quarter of 2018, 17 less than the previous year. At 99.8 per cent, transit passengers accounted for the absolute majority of total traffic, reaching 69,624. On average, every vessel that berthed in Malta carried 4,102 passengers, 1,596 more than the previous year.

Malta’s Latest Economic News

Preliminary figures show that Malta registered a trade deficit of €156.9 million in February 2018, compared to €111.5 million in the corresponding month of 2017. During the first two months of the year, the trade deficit narrowed by €90.1 million when compared to the corresponding period of 2017, reaching €360.3 million.

In February 2018, seasonally adjusted industrial production decreased by 2.4 per cent over the previous month. When compared to February 2017, the index of industrial production adjusted for working days decreased by 7.5 per cent. The production of intermediate goods and consumer goods decreased by 16.4 per cent and 7.3 per cent respectively. On the other hand, increases were registered in the production of energy (5.0 per cent) and capital goods (0.7 per cent).

Consultation Paper on the financial Instrument test issued by the MFSA on the 13th April 2018 (https://www.mfsa.com.mt/pages/announcement.aspx?id=11115).One of the central points for discussion outlined in the MFSA Discussion Paper On Initial Coin Offerings, Virtual Currencies And Related Service Providers (Reference No. 08-2017), (‘the Discussion Paper’), issued on the 30 November 2017, proposed the introduction of a ‘Financial Instrument Test’. The objective of the Test is to determine whether a Distributed Ledger Technology (‘DLT’) asset, based on its specific features, is encompassed under (i) the existing EU legislation and the corresponding national legislation, (ii) the proposed Virtual Financial Assets Act (‘VFAA’) or (iii) is otherwise exempt. It is envisaged that the Test will be applicable both within the context of an Initial Coin Offering as well as during the intermediation of DLT assets by persons undertaking certain activities in relation to such assets in or from within Malta.

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