The unemployment rate in June was the lowest ever recorded, according to the Central Bank's Economic Update for August.
The unemployment rate fell marginally to 3% when compared with May and also stood below last year’s rate.
"The rate observed in June 2022 was, in fact, the lowest ever recorded," the update says.
Jobsplus data, the update said, showed that the number of people on the unemployment register stood at 954 in June 2022, down from 961 in May and from 1,711 a year earlier – when the labour market was still impacted by pandemic-related restrictions.
The number of registered unemployed has now stood below pre-pandemic levels since mid-2021.
The European Commission’s confidence survey shows that economic sentiment in Malta edged down in July when compared with a month earlier, but stood at its long-term average, which is estimated since November 2002.
When compared with June, sentiment deteriorated in all sectors covered by the survey, except in the retail sector.
Additional survey information shows that, compared to June, price expectations fell in the services sector and among consumers, but rose in the remaining sectors.
The European Commission’s uncertainty indicator for Malta decreased when compared with June, signalling lower uncertainty. This was driven by developments in services and industry as uncertainty rose among consumers, and to a smaller extent, in the retail sector.
In June, industrial production contracted in annual terms, though at a smaller rate compared with May. Meanwhile, the volume of retail trade rose at a slower pace than in the previous month.
Rise in residential permits
Residential permits rose in June relative to their year-ago levels, while commercial permits declined. In July, both the number of promise-of-sale agreements and final deeds of sale fell on a year-on-year basis.
The annual inflation rate based on the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices stood at 6.8% in July, up from 6.1% in the previous month. Inflation based on the Retail Price Index also rose, reaching 6.8% in July from 6.2% a month earlier.
In June 2022, the deficit on the consolidated fund narrowed substantially when compared with a year earlier as government revenue rose while government expenditure decreased.
Annual growth in residents’ deposits remained strong in June, rising by 9.8%. Meanwhile, annual growth in credit to Maltese residents rose marginally to 7%.
By the end of the month, 622 facilities were approved and still outstanding in terms of the Malta Development Bank COVID-19 guarantee scheme, corresponding to total sanctioned amounts of €482.6 million.
By June, three loan facilities were approved under a new MDB subsidised loans scheme aimed at importers and wholesalers of wheat and animal feeds, covering total sanctioned lending of €15.6 million.
In June, the MDB launched the liquidity support guaranteed scheme to provide additional liquidity support in response to the Ukraine crisis. This scheme consists of two measures: LSGS-A provides bank financing support to all undertakings affected by the crisis, while LSGS-B is specific to fuel and oil importers. No facilities were approved by June.
The full Economic Update can be read here.
This article was first communicated by the Times of Malta on the 25th of August 2022.