September 30, 2016 / 10:57 AM / 4 years ago

Mauritius cuts 2016 growth forecast; agriculture, manufacturing seen slowing

View of the Commercial Bank of Mauritius office (L) in Port Louis on the Indian Ocean island Mauritius, August 5, 2015. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

PORT LOUIS (Reuters) - Mauritius’ economy is expected to grow by 3.7 percent this year, from a previous forecast of 3.9 percent in June, due to an expected slowdown in agriculture and manufacturing and no growth in construction, the statistics office said on Friday.

The Indian Ocean island economy expanded by 3.0 percent in 2015, after the statistics agency in June changed its base year for compiling data to 2013 from 2007 used previously.

Statistics Mauritius said agriculture will grow by 4.3 percent instead of 4.5 percent due to lower growth in non-sugarcane agricultural activities.

An expansion of 0.6 percent, lower than the June forecast of 1.3 percent, is expected from the manufacturing sector the agency said due to a contraction of 2.0 percent in textiles.

For construction, the statistics office said it expected: “A lower performance (0.0 percent instead of 1.6 percent) based on work completed during the first semester of 2016 and investment projects expected to be implemented in the second semester of 2016.”

Separately, it said the economy grew 2.5 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of this year from 2.2 percent in the same period a year ago, helped by an expanding financial services sector.

The island nation, which markets itself as a bridge between Africa and Asia, is trying to shift an economy mostly focused on sugar, textiles and tourism towards offshore banking, business outsourcing, luxury real estate and medical tourism.

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Reporting by Jean Paul Arouff; Editing by George Obulutsa and Alison Williams

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