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Malta: Staff Report for The 2014 Article IV Consultation—Informational Annex

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Published Date:
February 2015
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Fund Relations

(As of November 30, 2014)

Membership Status

Joined: September 11, 1968; Article VIII

General Resources Account

SDR MillionPercent Quota
Quota102.00100.00
Fund holdings of currency63.7562.50
Reserve Tranche Position38.3037.54
Lending to the Fund Borrowing Agreement11.71

SDR Department

SDR MillionPercent Allocation
Net cumulative allocation95.40100.00
Holdings84.5188.58

Outstanding Purchases and Loans

None

Financial Arrangements

None

Projected Obligations to Fund 1/(SDR million; based on existing use of resources and present holdings of SDRs)
Forthcoming
20142015201620172018
Principal
Charges/Interest0.000.010.010.010.01
Total0.000.010.010.010.01

When a member has overdue financial obligations outstanding for more than three months, the amount of such arrears will be shown in this section.

When a member has overdue financial obligations outstanding for more than three months, the amount of such arrears will be shown in this section.

Exchange Rate Arrangement

Member of the euro area since January 1, 2008. Malta maintains an exchange system that is free of restrictions on the making of payments and transfers for current international transactions.

Article IV Consultation

Malta is on the standard 12-month consultation cycle. The previous consultation discussions took place during May 02–13, 2013, and the staff report (Country Report No.13/203, 07/12/2013) was discussed and the consultation was completed on June 19, 2013.

Technical Assistance

DateDepartmentSubject
November 2014FADRevenue Administration Mission
March 2014FADStrengthening Public Financial Management
May 2013STABalance of Payments
April 2009STASDDS subscription finalization
November 2006STAProducer price index/SDDS preparations
April and December 2007(expert visits)
June 2005STAROSC Data Module
October 2002–January 2003MFDFSAP missions (joint with World Bank)
March 2001STAMoney and banking statistics
February 1999MAEMonetary operations and liquidity Forecasting

Resident Representative

None

Statistical Information

(As of January 6, 2015)

Data provision is adequate for surveillance purposes. Significant progress in improving macroeconomic statistics has been made in close cooperation with the European Central Bank (ECB) and Eurostat while upgrading statistical systems to meet the euro area standards1. Most macroeconomic statistics can now be accessed through Eurostat. The country has been a participant in the SDDS since December 1, 2009, with the metadata posted on the IMF’s Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board.

Real sector statistics: Malta has compiled its national accounts in accordance with the guidelines of ESA 2010 since October 2014. The effect of the conceptual differences from ESA 1995 on the estimated level of GDP in 2010 was a relative small upward revision of 0.5 percent. Data on retail and consumer prices, labor market indicators, and tourism arrivals are released monthly, usually with a short lag. A harmonized index of consumer prices has been published since May 2004. These data are available through Eurostat and via the Internet at the Central Bank of Malta (CBM) and the National Statistical Office (NSO) websites. The NSO releases quarterly national accounts data in current and constant prices with a lag of about two months, annual nonfinancial sectoral accounts in current prices with a lag of about 11 months, and a monthly index of industrial production with a lag of just over a month. However, national accounts data have been subject to substantial revisions, often affecting several years. The reasons for revisions include large statistical discrepancies (captured under changes in inventory stocks), particularly on the first release and revisions of deflators. Furthermore, supply-side GDP estimates by type of economic activity are only available at current prices. The producer price index for manufacturing has been published, but that for services sector is still under discussion. National accounts imports and exports data are not disaggregated into goods and services. Financial balance sheets and transactions by sectors, and data on household debt saving are not available.

Government finance statistics: Fiscal statistics meet basic requirements, with quarterly accrual-based data on general government operations compiled in accordance with the ESA2010 methodology and disseminated with a one-quarter lag. 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. The NSO also publishes monthly statistics on the cash operations of the central government, for which the authorities plan to utilize the targeted timeliness flexibility option in light of additional time required for the final month of the fiscal year.

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. Malta has reported Financial Soundness Indicators beginning from 2005 along with metadata, which are available on the IMF’s website (http://fsi.imf.org).

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 and IIP data are released annually, the latter with a lag sometimes exceeding one year. The balance of payments data are usually subject to large revisions. Summary trade statistics are released monthly with a lag of about 40 days. The CBM also publishes the external debt templates in line with requirements of the SDDS, including both gross and net external debt. In line with the European regulation, Malta has prepared the first BOP estimates in the BPM6 format covering the period 2009-onwards; however these data have not yet been approved for publication in the IFS. The country is planning to release historical data, possibly starting from 2004 in 2015. The new BOP data include estimates for SPEs and other coverage improvements.

Table 1.Malta: Table of Common Indicators Required for Surveillance(As of January, 2015)
Date of

latest

observation
Date

received
Frequency

of

Data 8/
Frequency

of

Reporting 8/
Frequency

of

Publication8/
Memo Items:
Data Quality

– Methodo-logical

soundness 9/
Data Quality

–Accuracy

andreliability 9/
Exchange Rates1/CurrentCurrentDDD
International Reserve Assets and Reserve Liabilities of the Monetary Authorities 2/2014:Q3Dec 2014QQQ
Central Bank Balance Sheet2014:Q3Dec 2014QQQ
Consolidated Balance Sheet of the Banking System2014:Q3Dec 2014QQQ
Interest Rates 3/Jan 2015Jan 2015MMM
Consumer Price IndexDec 2014Jan 2015MMMO, LO, O, OO, O, LO, LO, O
Revenue, Expenditure, Balance and Composition of Financing 4/ – General Government 5/2014:Q3Jan 2015QQQO, LO, O, LOO, O, O, LO, O
Revenue, Expenditure, Balance and Composition of Financing 4/– General Government2014:Q3Jan 2015QQQ
Stocks of General Government and General Government-Guaranteed Debt6/2014:Q3Jan 2015QQQ
External Current Account Balance2014:Q3Dec 2014QQQO, LO, O, OLO, O, O, O, LNO
Exports and Imports of Goods and Services2014:Q3Dec 2014QQQ
GDP/GNP2014:Q3Dec 2014QQQO, LNO, O, LOLO, O, LO, LO, LO
Gross External Debt2014:Q3Dec 2014QQQ
International Investment Position 7/2014:Q2Jan 2015QAA

Exchange rate arrangement is free floating.

Includes reserve assets pledged or otherwise encumbered as well as net derivative positions.

Both market-based and officially determined, including discount rates, money market rates, rates on treasury bills, notes and bonds.

Foreign, domestic bank, and domestic nonbank financing.

The general government consists of the central government (budgetary funds, extra budgetary funds, and social security funds) and state and local governments.

Including currency and maturity composition.

Includes external gross financial asset and liability positions vis avis nonresidents.

Daily (D); weekly (W); monthly (M); quarterly (Q); annually (A); irregular (I); and not available (NA).

Reflects the assessment provided in the data ROSC (published on August 18, 2006, and based on the f indings of the mission that took place during June 2005) for the dataset corresponding to the variable in each row. The assessment indicates whether international standards concerning concepts and definitions, scope, classification/sectorization, and basis for recording are fully observed (O); largely observed (LO); largely not observed (LNO); not observed (NO); and not available (NA).

Exchange rate arrangement is free floating.

Includes reserve assets pledged or otherwise encumbered as well as net derivative positions.

Both market-based and officially determined, including discount rates, money market rates, rates on treasury bills, notes and bonds.

Foreign, domestic bank, and domestic nonbank financing.

The general government consists of the central government (budgetary funds, extra budgetary funds, and social security funds) and state and local governments.

Including currency and maturity composition.

Includes external gross financial asset and liability positions vis avis nonresidents.

Daily (D); weekly (W); monthly (M); quarterly (Q); annually (A); irregular (I); and not available (NA).

Reflects the assessment provided in the data ROSC (published on August 18, 2006, and based on the f indings of the mission that took place during June 2005) for the dataset corresponding to the variable in each row. The assessment indicates whether international standards concerning concepts and definitions, scope, classification/sectorization, and basis for recording are fully observed (O); largely observed (LO); largely not observed (LNO); not observed (NO); and not available (NA).

The 2007/08 Eurostat peer review on the implementation of the European Statistics Code of Practice found that the NSO had reached a remarkable compliance with large parts of the Code despite its small size, but underscored the need to improve adequacy of resources and data quality management.

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