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The Central Bank of Malta’s (CBM) Business Conditions Index (BCI) indicates that in November, annual growth in business activity returned towards its historical average, estimated since January 2000.

The European Commission confidence surveys show that sentiment in Malta decreased in November, falling below its long-term average, estimated since November 2002. In month-on-month terms, sentiment deteriorated in the services and retail sectors and in industry, while it improved in construction and among consumers.

Additional data show that in month-on-month terms, price expectations edged down among firms in industry and in the services sector but rose in the remaining sectors. The most significant increase was recorded in the retail sector.

In November, the European Commission’s Economic Uncertainty Indicator (EUI) for Malta edged down compared with October, indicating lower uncertainty. Uncertainty decreased mostly in the construction sector. In October, industrial production rose at a slower pace, while retail trade contracted at faster pace, compared with a year earlier.

The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 2.5 per cent over the last three consecutive months and stood below that of 2.8 per cent in October 2022.

Commercial building permits in October were marginally higher than a month earlier and were also higher when compared with a year earlier. Meanwhile, residential building permits rose compared with the previous month, but were lower on a year earlier. In November, the number of residential promise-of-sale agreements rose on a year-on-year basis, while the number of final deeds of sales fell.

The annual inflation rate based on the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) stood at 3.9 per cent in November, down from 4.2 per cent in the previous month. Inflation based on the Retail Price Index (RPI) eased to 3.6 per cent, from 3.7 per cent in October.

The level of Maltese residents’ deposits decreased from their year ago level. This decline reflects lower balances belonging to financial intermediaries and, to a lesser extent, those belonging to firms, while household deposits increased.

Meanwhile, annual growth in credit to Maltese residents increased at a faster pace compared with a month earlier.

In October, the Consolidated Fund recorded a smaller deficit compared with a year earlier. This reflects a rise in government revenue and a decline in government expenditure.

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