Debunking the myths: Eurostat contradicts PN news on inflation

Malta currently has the lowest inflation rate among all EU countries, according to Eurostat data released just days ago.

On the 18th of August Eurostat published its monthly release on inflation. On its first page, the European statisticians report that “the lowest annual rates were registered in Malta (0.3%), Greece (0.7%) and Italy (1.0%)”. To give some context, Eurostat also reports that “the highest annual rates were recorded in Estonia (4.9%), Poland and Hungary (both 4.7%)”. The average across the EU was 2.5%.

In another official publication, published on the same day as Eurostat, the National Statistics Office published a news release on inflation in July. Once again, the NSO publishes a chart that shows that, if anything, in the last two years inflation has been in free-fall, reducing from 1.7% to 0.3%.

Malta currently has the lowest inflation rate among all EU countries.

Yet according to the PN news outlet, Net News, the burden of inflation on families is rising. The day before the EU statistical arm published its release, the Nationalist Party’s media arm published an article claiming that the burden of the inflation rate on families was rising. The article’s main proof for this claim was that several persons had talked with Net News to argue that inflation is accelerating.

Despite the two official sources, Eurostat and NSO, publishing factual data, on the same day the PN’s partisan news bulettin claims that the NSO data confirms a rise in prices.

For anyone still unconvinced about the lack of veracity in such claims, the Central Bank publishes a series of inflation rates over time. The last time Malta’s inflation rate was 0.3% was in October 2007. In fact, only in that month was the inflation rate in Malta as low as that.

Contrast this with the inflation rate that families were experiencing in December 2008, in the middle of an economic crisis when the Nationalist Party was in government. Then the inflation rate had reached 4.7% – the highest on record in our history. This was caused principally by the rise in utility tariffs that the previous administration had voted for.

One must also keep in mind the current administration’s recovery package over the past year and a half, as the wage supplement and voucher schemes kept people in jobs and a good rate consumption as internal tourism kept growing.

It is in such circumstances that serious journalism, based on facts and analysis, beats the partisan spreading of news in check.

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