The International Monetary Fund has revised upwards to 3.1 per cent Malta’s economic growth, the government said this afternoon.

It said in a statement that IMF experts had originally forecast a growth of 2.2 per cent for 2014 and 2015. This had now been revised to 3.1 per cent for both years.

This revision was starked when one considered that only a few weeks ago the IMF made the biggest downwards reivsion of its world economic growth forecast in the past three years.

This meant that while IMF experts were seeing a strong deterioration for the rest of the world, they still believed the economy in Malta was growing.

The government noted that the IMF remarked that in spite of a strong increase in the number of women working, unemployment had gone down to a record level. They praised the free childcare service, the tapering of social benefits and measures taken in the employment sector.

At the same time they observed a big drop in inflation as a result of lower water, electricity  and fuel rates.

The IMF noted that Malta made impressive strides in improving its external balances overturning its trade imbalance of 2.5 per cent in 2009 to a nine per cent surplus in 2014.

They also observed, the government said, that economic growth led to a strong reduction in the government deficit which they said would drop to 1.7 per cent next year while debt would fall to less than 70 per cent this year and nearly 60 per cent by 2020.

The government said that while it welcomed the IMF’s report, it would continue to work hard to strengthen the economy and implement the necessary reforms which were left to fall behind by the previous administration, including in the court, pensions and energy sectors.

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