Mauritius’ budget deficit to widen to 3.2 pct in 2015/2016

PORT LOUIS (Reuters) – The Mauritius budget deficit for fiscal year 2015/2016 (July-June) is forecast to widen to 3.5 percent of gross domestic product from 3.2 percent in the year 2014 (Jan-Dec), the finance minister said on Monday.


In a budget speech to parliament, Finance Minister Seetanah Lutchmeenaraidoo also said the Indian Ocean island’s economy will expand by 5.3 percent in the 2015/2016 fiscal year, above an estimated 3.5 percent expansion in 2014 (Jan-Dec).

Growth is seen accelerating to 5.7 percent in 2016/2017.

Mauritius’ fiscal year has previously ran from January to December but the government said it would change it from this year, to run from July to June.

Lutchmeenaraidoo said capital and recurrent expenditure would total 106.2 billion rupees ($3 billion) in the 2015/2016 fiscal year, while public sector debt would stand at 58.6 percent of the GDP.

Mauritius, with an annual gross domestic product of more than $10 billion, has been hit hard by the global economic slowdown and particularly by a drop in European tourists, who have been a mainstay of its vital tourist industry.

($1 = 36.4500 Mauritius rupees)

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