March 27, 2015 / 6:59 AM / 5 years ago

Tourism to spur Seychelles economic growth to 3.5 pct: IMF

Tourists shop in the streets of Victoria , Seychelles. REUTERS/George Thande

VICTORIA (Reuters) - The Seychelles’ economy is seen growing by 3.5 percent this year from an estimated 3.3 percent in 2014, helped by a recovery in tourism, the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday.

The Indian Ocean archipelago primarily relies on tourism and exports of canned tuna for foreign exchange earnings.

“Although the weak euro is putting some pressure on yields, tourism arrivals are rising moderately, and growth is projected at 3.5 percent, higher than previously expected,” an IMF mission visiting the Seychelles said in a statement.

It said it expected inflation to come in at under 5 percent. Year-on-year inflation rose to 3.7 percent in February from 2.9 percent in January.

A 2008 balance of payments crisis led Seychelles to default on a Eurobond interest payment and flirt with bankruptcy before the government introduced a raft of reforms to liberalise the once heavily state-controlled economy.

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