The Minister for Finance Prof. Edward Scicluna welcomed the latest credit rating report by International Agency Standard and Poor’s affirming Malta’s rating at ‘A-/A-2’ with a stable outlook supported by the country’s strong growth performance coupled with consistent current account surpluses.
The main factors underpinning Standard and Poor’s rating were Malta’s resilient economy, its competitiveness level, the recent structural reforms, the elevated wealth levels and its ability to absorb future shocks.
Furthermore, Standard and Poor’s noted that factors determining the rating and important drivers of growth included the significant investment projects in energy, healthcare, education, and hospitality. The growth was also supported by the increase in the labour force participation rate especially amongst females attributing such increases to Government’s labour market policies including the making work pay initiatives and the provision of free childcare centres.
Malta’s fiscal management has also been improved and Malta made considerable progress in fiscal consolidation accordingly. In relation to debt-to-GDP ratio, it is expected to continue on a declining trend, falling to 53.8% by 2020 while net debt is expected to fall to 47%.
Finally, with regards to Brexit, the report stated that Malta is resulting generally well-placed to cushion the effects of Brexit as it has a diversified export base and a flexible economy.
In their latest analysis the Agency’s economists forecast that over the next three years the Maltese economy will be expected to increase by 3.3% annually.
Once again Malta enjoys both a positive rating and one of the strongest macroeconomic expansions in the Eurozone. Once more the Island is determined to maintain and strengthen those factors which will enable achieve higher rating.
Written by Marta Bellamoli, Marketing Co-ordinator