Mauritius leaves economic growth forecast for 2014 unchanged at 3.5%
Statistics Mauritius has maintained the growth forecast for the island economy at 3.5%, as indicated in June 2014, which still represents a rise over the 3.2% GDP growth that was actually achieved in 2013.(Image: Wikipedia)
Mauritius’ economic growth in 2014 will remain steady at the forecast released earlier in June 2014 at 3.5%, higher than the 3.2% growth actually achieved in 2013, Statistics Mauritius declared yesterday, September 30, 2014.
Statistics Mauritius also noted that, exclusive of sugar, the growth rate would also be 3.5%, compared to 3.3% in 2013.
The island’s GDP forecast is based on growth in agriculture, forestry and fishing; manufacturing; construction; accommodation and food service activities; ICT; and financial and insurance activities.
The agriculture, forestry and fishing sector is expected to expand by 6.4% in 2014 on account of an increase in fishing activities, compared to a mere 0.4% in 2013.
On the other hand, it is anticipated that the manufacturing sector will see lower growth of 1.9% in 2014, compared to 4.4% in 2013.
Sugar milling will grow by 3.8% after a contraction of 1.0% in 2013 as local sugar production rises from 404,713 tonnes in 2013 to 415,000 tonnes in 2014. Additionally, refining of imported raw sugar is expected to double over 2013 figures to reach 50,000 tonnes.
Another expected improvement is in the food processing sector, which is expected to expand by 2.8% due to increase in fish processing activities, compared to the de-growth of 0.3% in 2013.
Based on exports for the first semester of 2014, textile manufacturing is expected to grow at a rate of 1.5% compared to 2.6% growth achieved in 2013.
After the double digit growth of 12.7% in 2013, other manufacturing is expected to grow at a lower rate of 1.0% in 2014 while activities of Export Oriented Enterprises (EOE) are expected to recover by 1.9%, compared to the decline of 3.0% observed last year.
The construction sector is expected to dip further, with -6.7% de-growth forecast, after the contraction of 9.4% in 2013, on account of a drop in major private construction projects.
With 1.03 million tourist arrivals forecast this year, the growth in the accommodation and food service activities is predicted to increase by approximately 3.5% while tourism earnings are forecast at Rs 44.5 billion for 2014 against Rs 40.6 billion last year.
Finally, ICT as well as financial & insurance activities will grow by 6.5% and 5.4% respectively.
Regarding consumption and saving, the final consumption expenditure of households and government is anticipated to grow by 2.7%, which is higher than the 2.3% in 2013, while Gross Domestic Savings as a percentage of GDP at market prices will be 11.6% compared to 11.8% in 2013.
However, imports of goods and services are forecast at a higher Rs 255.05 billion in 2014 compared to Rs 243.57 billion in 2013, representing a nominal increase of 4.7%, while exports of goods and services are also expected to rise by 7.3% to Rs 213.33 billion in 2014, from Rs 198.89 billion in 2013.
Concerning investment in 2014, it will increase by 1.9% to hit Rs 79.12 billion. Exclusive of investment on aircraft and marine vessels, which is expected to be around Rs 3.79 billion, investment would fall by 2.5% in 2014 compared to a decline of 6.7% in 2013.
Meanwhile, the investment rate is also expected to decrease to 20.4% from 21.2% in 2013. Exclusive of aircraft and marine vessels, the investment rate would be 19.4% in 2014 against 20.5% in 2013.
Building and construction work is expected to dip by 6.0% in 2014 after the drop of 10.2% in 2013 while the machinery and equipment segment would continue to grow by 8.1% in 2014, mostly explained by expected investment in marine vessels – it grew 11.7% in 2013.
Private sector investment is expected to come down in 2014 to Rs 58.41 billion from Rs 59.27 billion in 2013, while public sector investment is forecast at Rs 20.70 billion in 2014, representing a nominal increase of 12.8%.
This positive growth would be mainly due to investment in berth extension at the Mauritius Container Terminal, additional investment in Bagatelle Dam, and acquisition of a patrol vessel.
Accordingly, the share of private sector investment is expected to decrease to 73.8% from 76.4% in 2013 and that of the public sector, to increase to 26.2% from 23.6%.