IMF positive report on Malta’s economy – Prof Briguglio
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that the Maltese economy continued to operate at a steady rhythm in spite of the difficulties faced by the neighbouring economies. IMF experts who carried out the evaluation on the Maltese economy, said that they are expecting a higher economic rate of growth fuelled by increased domestic demand and an improved consumer trust. The report lists the challenges that the Maltese economy is facing and also a series of recommendations among which recommendations for the banking sector and to control the deficit.
Speaking on TVAM, and reacting to this report, economist Lino Briguglio said that one of the main positive aspects of the report was that the IMF had repeatedly used the term ‘resilient’ in connection with the Maltese economy. He said that the countries needed to find a balance between austerity and incentivisation of the economy. He said that the Eurozone had been in recession for the past year and half but, statistics show some improvement in the rates of the GDP. The decline in the GDP appears to be slowing down, so, said Prof Briguglio, the end of the recession may be imminent. He said that the IMF is cautiously advocating a slow move away from the austerity measures which have cause several hardships to the workers and long dole lines.
Prof Briguglio said that the introduction of low cost airlines had had a very positive impact on the Maltese Economy. He said that besides the fact that Malta had taken care to nurture its traditional product, another factor, that of tourist safety was making it increasingly attractive. Prof Briguglio said that the country has been made more accessible through the low cost airlines.
Statements by Ministry of Finance and the Nationalist Party
The Finance Ministry welcomed IMF Statement about the state of the economy of Malta. The Ministry said that this report confirmed the soundness of Malta’s financial sector, further dispelling speculation regarding alleged similarities between Malta’s banking sector and those of ailing member states.
The IMF’s conclusions, said the Ministry, join other positive appraisals published in recent days by other well-established external observer entities such as credit rating agencies Standard & Poor’s, Fitch, Bloomberg, Namura, and the European Commission. Together, these conclusions represent a credible endorsement of the robustness and resilience of the Maltese financial sector by several respected and established external observer entities at a time of widespread economic uncertainty in Europe, affirmed the ministry.
In another statement, the Nationalist Party said the report was a good certificate to the previous government’s economic policy. The PN statement said that the report showed that the Gonzi administration had been taking the right decisions for the Maltese economy to remain strong and resilient in spite of a difficult international situation.
The PN said that from the opposition benches it would continue to do its part for the economy to remain strong. For the sake of workers, it hoped that the Labour government would not destroy the good that had been done by the previous government.