Fabian Demicoli

Inflation and unemployment figures


The public has been pretty well
confused by a spate of published statistics that have been presented rather
awkwardly. It started with the inflation figures that had the media and the
opposition screaming loud that inflation in Malta is 4.4%. This figure is
wrong! The Retail Price Index was published at the end of July and the annual
inflation rate for Malta is 2.4%. This is not a figure worth raising our heads
from under the umbrellas by the beach in the heath of August!

Then again a confusingly written
government press release was somehow understood to mean that unemployment in
Malta has reached the level of 7.8% of the labour force. With a presumable 4.4%
inflation rate and a 7.8% unemployment rate our economy would have been in dire
straits. These are definitely incorrect statements.

The real unemployment rate is 4.4%. An unemployment rate of
4.4% and an inflation rate of 2.4% is more than acceptable for an economy as
open as Malta's and for an economy so dependent as Malta is on the
international economic situation. This is also very acceptable given the
current state of economic affairs in most of the countries with whom we do most
business.

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