1. GDP grew by 3.2% in 2013 compared to 3.4% in 2012. Exclusive of sugar, the rate worked out to 3.3% compared to 3.5% in 2012.
2. On the basis of information gathered on key sectors of the economy, forecast of GDP growth is revised downwards to 3.5% from 3.7% as forecasted in March 2014.
3. Exclusive of sugar, the growth rate would be 3.6% compared to 3.8% forecasted earlier.
4. The main assumptions used for the forecast of 3.5% growth in 2014 are:
(i) Agriculture, forestry and fishing: to expand by 7.4%, higher than the 0.4% growth in 2013. Within the sector,
a. Sugarcane: sugar production of around 415,000 tonnes of refined and special sugars, resulting in a growth of 1.9% compared to -1.9% in 2013, and
b. Other Agriculture: to expand by 10.0% mainly due to expected increase in “Fishing activities”, compared to 1.7% in 2013.
(ii) Manufacturing: to grow by 1.7%, lower than the 4.4% growth in 2013. Within the sector,
a. “Sugar milling” to recover by 3.8% after a contraction of -1.0% in 2013. The growth would be due to a local sugar production of 415,000 tonnes and the refining of 50,000 tonnes of imported raw sugar. In 2013 the local sugar production was 404,713 tonnes and 25,000 tonnes of raw sugar was imported for refining.
b. “Food processing” to expand by 3.0% taking into account the increase in fishing activities compared to the negative growth of -0.3% in 2013.
c. “Textile manufacturing” to grow at a rate of 1.5%, based on exports data for the first quarter of 2014 compared to the 2.6% growth observed in 2013.
d. “Other manufacturing” to stagnate, after the double digit growth of 12.7% in 2013.
Activities of Export Oriented Enterprises (EOE) are expected to rebound by 1.0% compared to the decline of -3.0% in 2013.
(iii) Construction: to decline by -4.8% after the contraction of -9.4% in 2013, mainly explained by a drop in major private construction projects.
(iv) Accommodation and food service activities: a growth of around 3.5% based on a forecast of 1,030,000 tourist arrivals in 2014 compared to 993,106 in 2013. Tourist earnings are forecasted at R 44.5 billion compared to R 40.6 billion in 2013.
(v) Information and communication: a growth of 6.5%, lower than the 6.9% in 2013.
(vi) Financial and insurance activities: to grow by 5.3% in 2014, nearly the same rate as in 2013.
Consumption and Saving
5. Final consumption expenditure of households and government is expected to grow by 2.6%, higher than the 2.3% in 2013. Gross National Saving as a percentage of GNDI would be 12.8 compared to 12.7 in 2013.
6. Total investment would grow by 0.4% in 2014 after the -3.3% fall in 2013. However, exclusive of aircraft and marine vessels, a drop of -0.8% is expected compared to -6.7% in 2013.
(i) Private sector investment is anticipated to dip by 3.7% in 2014 after the negative growth of -2.8% in 2013. Exclusive of aircraft and marine vessels, investment would decline by -1.0% compared to -7.2% in 2013.
(ii) Public sector investment is expected to rebound by 13.7% in 2014 after a contraction of -4.9% in 2013. Excluding aircraft and marine vessels, a decline of -0.3% would be observed compared to -5.0% in 2013. The positive growth of 13.7% would be mainly due to the investment in Berth extension at Mauritius Container Terminal, Bagatelle Dam and acquisition of a patrol vessel.
(iii) Investment rate, defined as the ratio of investment to GDP at market prices would be 20.7% in 2014, lower than the figure of 21.2% in 2013. Exclusive of aircraft and marine vessels, the rate would be 19.8% compared to 20.5% in 2013.
(iv) Private investment rate would decrease to 15.2% in 2014 from 16.2% in 2013 while public investment rate would increase to 5.5% from 5.0%.
(v) The share of the private sector in total investment is expected to decrease to 73.2% in 2014 from 76.4% in 2013 while that of the public sector would increase to 26.8% from 23.6%.