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Mauritius expects 2017/18 government spending to rise 15 pct, deficit to narrow
June 8, 2017 / 3:59 PM / 6 months ago

Mauritius expects 2017/18 government spending to rise 15 pct, deficit to narrow

PORT LOUIS, June 8 (Reuters) - Mauritius expects its fiscal deficit to narrow in 2017/18 (July-June), while the economy is predicted to grow 4.1 percent in the same period, up from 3.9 percent this year, the finance minister said in his budget speech on Thursday.

The Indian Ocean island, which markets itself as a link between Africa and Asia, is striving to move from an economy mostly focused on sugar, textiles and tourism towards offshore banking, business outsourcing, luxury real estate and medical tourism.

Finance minister Pravind Jugnauth, who is also the prime minister, told parliament total public spending would be 127.7 billion rupees ($3.69 billion) up from 110.6 billion rupees in 2016/17, while revenues would rise to 112.2 billion rupees up from 94.7 billion rupees.

Jugnauth said the government will allocate 18.8 billion rupees for capital expenditure.

The fiscal deficit in 2017/18 would fall to 3.2 percent of gross domestic product from 3.5 percent in the year ending June.

Mauritius expects economic growth of 3.8 percent to 4.0 percent this year from 3.5 percent last year. ($1 = 34.58 Mauritius rupees) (Reporting by Jean Paul Arouff; Writing by George Obulutsa; Editing by Toby Davis)

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