Mauritius consumers can expect falling prices and lower inflation: MCCI
According to latest figures from Statistics Mauritius, 2013 has been marked by stabilization of prices with an inflation rate of only 3.7 per cent. (Image: Getaway)
In good news for consumers, the falling trend in prices seen from September to November 2013 is expected to be continued over the next quarter, with inflation expected to be lower by 4%.
The Mauritius Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) noted in its Business Confidence Indicator report that, over the last three months, 54% of entrepreneurs indicated that their prices are still the same, while 33% have reduced prices. Only 12% have hiked up prices.
Also, according to latest figures from Statistics Mauritius, 2013 has been marked by stabilization of prices with an inflation rate of only 3.7%.
Meanwhile, MCCI’s Business Confidence Indicator for the fourth quarter of 2014, released earlier this month, showed a 3.5% rise in business confidence to stand at 88 points against 85.1 points in the third quarter of 2013.
The index rose on the back of increased optimism of business firms, rise in sales, suitable taxation policy, competitive exchange rate, open access to capital and improved logistics and connectivity.
However, factors that exercised a negative impact on business confidence were lack of adequate government support to businesses, unfair competition, low domestic demand, persistent problems concerning public transport and lack of qualified personnel.
Further, over the next 12 months, investments are expected to increase and average expectations indicate a rise of approximately 16%.
For the services sector, which comprises 70% of Mauritius’ GDP, last quarter’s figures have been reasonable and enterprises expect a ripple effect in the next quarter starting 2014. Such an increase would result in strong and sustainable growth, with improvements in supply expected to help in further stabilizing prices.
Further, the business confidence indicator for the manufacturing sector has also risen by 2.9% on improved sales.
The commerce sector has grown 2.1% compared to a decline of more than 5% in the third quarter of 2013. With the onset of the holiday season, sales have improved and commerce operators expect a good start for 2014.
The report goes on to caution against over-stocking, even if it is the end of year period, because this can pose a threat to the financial capacity of the undertakings concerned, and limit opportunities for capital investment or growth opportunities.
Overall, the MCCI Business Confidence Indicator declared that there has been a turnaround in the economy and economic performance will be even better in the first quarter of 2014.