This 2020 Article IV Consultation focuses on Malta’s near and medium-term challenges and policy priorities and was prepared before coronavirus disease 2019 became a global pandemic and resulted in unprecedented strains in global trade, commodity and financial markets. Pursuing structural reforms is expected to help sustain Malta’s growth performance while promoting social inclusion. The focus should continue to be on encouraging female and elderly participation in the labor market, upskilling the labor force and stimulating innovation. Moreover, to safeguard the business climate, remaining governance shortcomings should be addressed without delay, including by stepping up the fight against corruption and by increasing the efficiency of the judicial system while ensuring its independence. Improving access to affordable housing remains a key priority in support of greater inclusion. It is imperative to maintain gradual consolidation to ensure a balanced structural budget excluding proceeds from the Individual Investor Program. The IMF staff suggests continuing addressing infrastructure needs while upgrading public investment efficiency. Improve fiscal risk analysis and management.
Germany managed the first wave of the COVID-19 epidemic relatively well thanks to an early and vigorous public health response. Nonetheless, unprecedented disruptions to economic and social activity caused a deep recession in the first half of 2020. The gradual easing of containment measures since late-April has led to a partial revival of growth, but in late-October a “lockdown light” was announced to counter a new wave of infections, and restrictions were further tightened in mid-December. Significant risks remain about the pace and extent of the recovery as the uncertain course of the epidemic continues to impact economic activity.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Malaysia entered the pandemic from a robust economic position but has nonetheless been significantly affected. A synchronous fiscal, monetary and financial policy response has helped cushion the economic impact. As a result, after a deep recession in 2020, and assuming the pandemic is brought under control in Malaysia and globally, growth would rebound to 6.5 percent in 2021 as supply side constraints are lifted and domestic and external demand recover. Large downside risks will remain.