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Staff Report for the 2008 Article IV Consultation—Informational Annex

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
August 2008
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Appendix I. Malta: Fund Relations

(As of May 31, 2008)

Article IV mission: Discussions were held in Valletta, May 20–30, 2008.

Staff team: Messrs. Escolano (head), Henn, and Lissovolik (all EUR).

Country interlocutors: The mission met with Minister of Finance, Mr. Tonio Fenech; Central Bank of Malta Governor, Mr. Michael Bonello; and other senior officials. It also met with representatives of financial institutions, the private sector, employers and labor unions, opposition, and academics. The authorities agreed to publish the concluding statement.

Data: Malta participates in the IMF's General Data Dissemination System and is at an advanced stage to reach subscription to the Special Data Dissemination Standard.

I. Membership Status: Malta became a member of the IMF on September 11, 1968. It eliminated all remaining restrictions under Article XIV of the Articles of Agreement and accepted the obligations of Article VIII (Sections 2, 3, and 4) of the Articles of Agreement on November 30, 1994.

II. General Resources Account:

SDR MillionPercent Quota
Quota102.00100.00
IMF holdings of currency61.7460.53
Reserve position in the IMF40.2639.47

III. SDR Department:

SDR MillionPercent Allocation
Net cumulative allocation11.29100.00
Holdings38.81343.82

IV. Outstanding Purchases and Loans: None

V. Latest Financial Arrangements: None

VI. Projected Payments to the IMF: None

VII. Exchange Rate Arrangement and Restrictions: Malta joined EMU on January 1, 2008 at the central parity of Maltese lira 0.429300 per €1. Malta maintains an exchange system that is free of restrictions on the making of payments and transfers for current international transactions, except for restrictions maintained for security reasons and which have been notified to the IMF pursuant to Executive Board Decision No. 144- (52/51).

VIII. Article IV Consultation: The last Article IV consultation was concluded on August 24, 2007. Malta is on a 12-month consultation cycle.

IX. Technical Assistance: (1999–present)

  • An expert visited Valletta in November 2006, and April and December 2007 to assist with the preparation of a producer price index, which was first published in May 2008 and constituted one of the last remaining criteria for future SDDS subscription.

  • ROSC Data Module mission visited Malta in June 2007.

  • FSAP missions in October 2002 and January 2003.

  • STA mission on money and banking statistics visited Malta in March 2001.

  • An MAE mission addressed monetary operations and liquidity forecasting (February 1999).

X. Resident Representative: None.

Appendix II. Malta: Statistical Issues

Data provision is adequate for surveillance purposes. Significant progress in improving macroeconomic statistics has been made in close cooperation with the ECB and Eurostat while upgrading statistical systems to meet the euro area standards. However, national accounts and balance of payments data have remained subject to substantial revisions, often affecting several years. Most macroeconomic statistics can now be accessed through Eurostat. The country has been a participant in the GDDS since September 11, 2000, with the metadata posted on the IMF's Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board. In 2007, the IMF has continued to provide technical assistance to the authorities in order to develop a producer price index. Its first release in May 2008 fulfilled one of few remaining requirements to achieve SDDS standards. Given progress as of July 2008, reaching SDDS subscription status will necessitate the appointment of an SDDS coordinator. In collaboration with IMF staff, the coordinator will facilitate completion of the remaining steps toward SDDS subscription, such as the finalization of the metadata, setting up a National Summary Data Page and Advance Release Calendar, and finalization of the Reserves Template. The authorities are currently in the process of taking these steps.

Real sector statistics: Data on retail and consumer prices, labor market indicators, and tourism arrivals are released monthly, usually with a short lag. These data are available through the Internet via the National Statistics Office (NSO) website. Presently the NSO releases national accounts data in euros with one quarter lag. Statistical discrepancies (captured under stock building) are often large, particularly on the first release, and typically lead to sizable revisions. Supply side GDP estimates by type of economic activity are not available, but the recently published producer price index will facilitate their compilation. National accounts import and export data are not disaggregated into goods and services. The harmonized index of consumer prices was first published in May 2004.

Government finance statistics: Fiscal statistics meet basic requirements, but timeliness is below the general practice in the EU. The NSO publishes monthly statistics on the cash operations of the central government. In addition, quarterly general government accounts are published on an accrual basis in accordance with the ESA95 methodological framework. The general government comprises data from the consolidated fund of government adjusted to include other accounts of government, the accruals elements, and the financial performance of the Extra Budgetary Units and of the Local Councils.

Monetary and financial statistics: Monetary statistics are timely and of good quality. Since the entry into the euro area in January 2008, monetary data for IMF statistical publications are now obtained through a gateway arrangement with the ECB, thus reducing the reporting burden of the country. The country participated in the pilot project—Coordinated Compilation Exercise—for Financial Soundness Indicators and submitted indicators as of end-2005 along with metadata, which are now available to the public through the IMF's website (http://www.imf.org/external/np/sta/fsi/part.asp?iso=MLT).

External sector statistics: Summary data (merchandise trade, current account balance, and selected financial account data) are released on a quarterly basis with a lag of about three months. More detailed BOP data, as well as those on the international investment position, are released annually, the latter with a lag sometimes exceeding one year. Summary trade statistics are released monthly with a lag of about 40 days.

Malta: Table of Common Indicators Required for Surveillance(As of July 11, 2008)
Date of latest observationDate receivedFrequency of Data6Frequency of Reporting6Frequency of Publication6Memo Items:
Data Quality - Methodo- logical soundness7Data Quality - Accuracy and reliability8
Exchange Rates7/11/087/11/08DDD
International Reserve Assets and Reserve Liabilities of the Monetary Authorities15/086/08MMM
Reserve/Base Money4/076/07MMM
Broad Money4/086/08MMM
Central Bank Balance Sheet4/086/08MMM
Consolidated Balance Sheet of the Banking System4/086/08MMQ
Interest Rates24/086/08WWW
Consumer Price Index5/086/08MMMO, LO, O, OO, O, LO, LO, O
Revenue, Expenditure, Balance and Composition of Financing3 -General Government44/086/08MMMO, LO, O, LOO, O, O, LO, O
Revenue, Expenditure, Balance and Composition of Financing3-Central Government4/086/08MMM
Stocks of Central Government and Central Government-Guaranteed Debt512/075/08MMM
External Current Account Balance2008:Q16/08QQQO, LO, O, OLO, O, O, O, LNO
Exports and Imports of Goods and Services2008:Q16/08QQQ
GDP/GNP2008:Q16/08QQQO, LNO, O, LOLO, O, LO, LO, LO
Gross External Debtn/an/an/an/an/a
International Investment Position620062/08AAA
9 Same as footnote 7, except referring to international standards concerning source data, statistical techniques, assessment and validation of source data, assessment, and revision studies.

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