Claims by the Opposition that industrial confidence is falling are completely unfounded and are not supported by data.
The survey carried that out by the European Commission among industrial firms on a monthly basis indicates that trend of industrial confidence in Malta has been positive, and improving steadily over the last three years.
Furthermore, there is no scientific evidence of any correlation between the trend in credit growth to private firms, and the industry confidence indicator. Indeed the correlation seems to be opposite.
In its quarterly report for the fourth quarter of 2013, the Central Bank notes that “confidence rose in all the surveyed sectors.”
Furthermore, the European Commission’s industrial and services confidence indicators, together with the overall economic sentiment indicator, were significantly higher in 2013 than in 2012.
Also it should be noted that the Central Bank of Malta chart presented to the Economic and Financial Affairs Parliamentary Committee (page 22) on bank lending shows that the negative dip in bank lending which occurred in Malta towards the middle of 2013, also took place in other Eurozone countries which include Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Luxembourg, Finland, France and Belgium.
Additionally, in its In-Depth Review which was published earlier this year, the European Commission remarked that the lower bank lending is a positive deleveraging process which is leading to a reduction in Malta’s past high private debt, and is also leading to further macro-economic stability.
The Finance Ministry is ready to continue the discussion with all stakeholders as part of the ongoing preparations of the Budgetary process in order to strengthen Malta’s industrial sector and examine and address its current concerns.
– Saturday, 17th May, 2014