GDP growth rate
1. Latest available information indicates that:
a) GDP at market prices in 2019 grew by 3.0% compared to 3.8% growth in 2018;
b) GVA at basic prices in 2019 grew by 3.2%, lower than the 3.6% growth recorded in 2018.
2. Main contributors to the 3.2% growth in GVA at basic prices were: “Financial and insurance activities” (0.6 percentage point), “Construction” and “Wholesale & retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles” each contributing 0.4 percentage point, and “Professional, scientific and technical activities” (0.3 percentage point), partly offset by “Accommodation and food service activities (-0.1 percentage point)”.
3. The performance of main industry groups in 2019 were as follows:
a) Sugarcane: a sugar production of 331,105 tonnes compared to 323,406 tonnes in 2018, resulting in a growth of 2.4% compared to a drop of 9.1% in 2018.
b) Manufacturing: grew by 0.5%, lower than the growth of 0.7% in 2018, assuming growths of 1.3% and 4.4% in ‘food processing’ and ‘other manufacturing’ respectively, partly offset by ‘textile manufacturing’ (-5.9%).
c) Construction: grew by 8.5% compared to 9.5% growth in 2018.
d) Wholesale & retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles: grew by 3.4% compared to 3.6% in 2018.
e) Accommodation and food service activities: dropped by 1.1% after the 4.1% growth in 2018, based on tourist arrivals of 1,383,488 in 2019.
f) Financial and insurance activities: grew by 5.2%, lower than the 5.4% growth in 2018.
Consumption and Saving
4. Final consumption expenditure of households and general government grew by 3.0% in 2019 compared to 3.4% in 2018. Gross Domestic Savings (GDS) as a percentage to GDP at market prices for 2019 worked out to 8.8 compared to 9.0 in 2018.
5. Investment, as measured by Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF), grew by 6.2% in 2019, after a growth of 10.9% in 2018. Private sector investment grew by 2.0% in 2019 compared to the 10.4% growth in 2018 and public sector investment expanded by 19.5% in 2019, after a growth of 12.7% in 2018.
6. Investment rate, as measured by GFCF as a percentage of GDP at market prices, increased to 19.6% in 2019, from 18.8% in 2018. Private investment rate worked out to 14.3% compared to 14.2% in 2018 and public investment rate increased to 5.3% from 4.5% in 2018.
7. The share of private sector investment in GFCF decreased to 72.8% in 2019 from 75.8% in 2018, while that of the public sector increased to 27.2% from 24.2% in 2018.
8. The forecast of 2020 has been worked out amid a high level of uncertainties around the economic impact of the global COVID-19 outbreak. According to the IMF, all regions worldwide are projected to experience negative growth in 2020. Mauritius being a very open economy will be severely impacted.
9. Against this backdrop, and based on downside figures of the first quarter of the year and weakness of available indicators for the second quarter, GVA at current basic prices is forecasted around R 390.0 billion and GDP at current market prices at around R 440.0 billion in 2020 at par with the 2016 level.
10. After removing the price effect, GVA at basic prices and GDP at market prices are forecasted to contract by around 13.0% in 2020, the worst contraction since 1980.
The main assumptions used to work out the forecast of 2020 are as follows:
a) Sugarcane/sugar milling: a sugar production of around 310,000 tonnes and refining of 40,000 tonnes of imported raw sugar in 2020.
b) Textile manufacturing: to drop by around 45.0%. The textile industry which was already experiencing difficulties since 2015 is expected to deteriorate further post-COVID19 following poor demand from our main export partners.
c) Construction: to decline by around 20.0%, based on a modest private sector construction-related investment in 2020 and pick-up of public infrastructure construction works during the second semester of 2020.
d) Wholesale & retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles: to contract by around 12.0% in 2020 as household consumption dropped markedly as a result of lower household income.
e) Accommodation and food service activities: to contract by around 70.0% with tourist arrivals oscillating between 350,000 and 400,000 in 2020, pending opening of borders, coupled with local visitors taking advantage of the services.
f) Financial and insurance activities: to grow by about 1.0% in 2020 based on lower expected global business activities.
g) Administrative and support service activities: to decline by around 20.0%, taking into account the impact of low tourist arrivals on travel agency, tour operator and related activities, coupled with a negative performance expected in the activities of call centres.