Malta’s industrial producers slashed their prices by an annual 2.9 percent in July – the seventh successive month in which they reduced their prices in comparison with their pricing last year, though this month saw the lowest price decrease after six months where pricing had been reduced by around 4.5 percent.
A look at the four main industrial groupings shows that producers of intermediate goods even cut their prices by an annual 5.9 percent in July, after having reduced them by an average 8.8 percent over the previous six months. Energy prices were stationary. Capital goods prices saw some minor increases, with an annual 0.9 percent rise after an average rise of 0.6 percent during the first half of the year.
Producers of consumer goods were somewhat more bullish, increasing their prices by an annual 1.7 percent in July, more or less in line with the trend since the beginning of the year. In this category of production, prices of consumer durables rose by an annual 5.3 percent, whereas the increase in the prices of consumer non-durables was more restrained at 1.4 percent.
Manufacturers producing for the domestic market continued to increase their prices ever so slightly – in July prices rose by an annual 0.7 percent. They don’t seem to be under the same pressure as those producing for the export market who chopped their prices by an annual 5.2 percent in July, though this was somewhat lower than the average price reduction in the previous six months.
The pressures of the European market are clearly evident from the fact that, whereas producers had to reduce their prices by an annual 6.2 percent for customers in the Eurozone, they were able to increase them by 2.8 percent for customers in non-Eurozone countries.
Whether these price reductions were enough to reverse the production losses in the early part of the year is not clear yet. In June, seasonally-adjusted production and working-day adjusted production both fell on an annual basis.