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Monthly Economic & Financial Developments, February 2008

Published: Friday April 18th, 2008

Preliminary data for the month of February highlighted steady gains in consumer spending, which continued to support economic activity and together with elevated import payments for fuel, tempered growth of both external reserves and liquidity.

Despite the overall contraction in visitor arrivals by 6.4% during the month of January to 0.37 million, visitor spending indicators were positive, buoyed by a 6.5% improvement in the higher value-added air segment, notwithstanding the 10.9% contraction in sea visitors.

Price developments continued to be influenced by the feed-through effects of higher global oil prices, with consumer price inflation for the twelve-month period ending February 2008 advancing to 2.4% from 2.1% last year. The main increases in average costs were noted for furniture & household operation (6.1%), food & beverages (3.7%), medical care & health (3.3%) and transport & communication (3.3%).

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