The Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA), in its latest Quarterly Economic Bulletin, has projected an optimistic outlook for the nation’s economy, forecasting a rise in the country’s official reserves for the current year compared to the previous year. This anticipated increase comes despite a significant drop in the first quarter compared to the same period in 2023.

According to the report, the Maldives’ official reserves stood at US$590.5 million at the end of last year. The central bank now expects these reserves to rise to US$605.7 million by the end of this year.

However, the first quarter presented challenges, as documented in the central bank’s bulletin. Official reserves decreased by 29 percent compared to the same period in 2023, ending the quarter at US$541.8 million. This downturn was primarily attributed to the repayment of a US$100 million loan obtained by the previous administration from the State Bank of India (SBI).

Despite this initial setback, the central bank remains optimistic, citing the burgeoning tourism sector as a significant driver of the current economic upswing. The ripple effects of this growth are felt across other critical industries, contributing to a broader economic revitalisation, according to MMA.

The MMA report also highlighted the increased deposits to the Sovereign Development Fund (SDF) over the past six months. This uptrend in contributions to the SDF is seen as further evidence of the country’s improving economic stability.