Mauritius business confidence hit by euro woes-survey

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By Jean Paul Arouff | July 1, 2010 5:39 AM EST

Confidence among Mauritius businesses was hurt in May and June by the crisis in the euro zone, a major tourism and export goods market, an inaugural survey showed on Wednesday.

The study, run by the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry showed confidence stood at 96.7 points out of a possible 100.

"What we have seen from this first survey is that there are some apprehensions with regard to the impact of the euro zone crisis, our main market, on the local economy," Renganaden Padayachy, macroeconomist at the chamber of commerce and industry, told reporters at the launching ceremony.

The survey will henceforth run on a quarterly basis, Padayachy said.

He said business in manufacturing were mostly concerned with the weakness of the euro against the rupee while the retail sector expressed concerns on the impact of the appreciation of the dollar against the rupee on prices locally.

Europe is Mauritius' main buyer with 67 percent of the country's exports. It is also a major source of tourists. Most of its imports, like oil and machinery are denominated in dollars.

"A sectoral analysis showed that confidence fell most in the manufacturing and the retail sectors," Padayachy said.

Finance Minister Pravind Jugnauth told parliament this month that economic output was expected to grow by between 3.5 and 4.0 percent, less than a previous estimate of 4.3 percent, partly due to the crisis in the euro zone, a major tourism and export goods market. [ID:nLDE65L0PK]

The Central Statistics Office said Mauritius' economy will grow by 4.2 percent in 2010, against a forecast of 4.6 percent made in March this year.

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