Economic Outline

flag Mauritius Mauritius: Economic Outline

Economic Indicators

For the latest updates on the key economic responses from governments to adress the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, please consult the IMF's policy tracking platform Policy Responses to COVID-19.

Mauritius has had low but steady growth rates over the last few years (averaging 3.8% during 2015–19) and is among the most dynamic economies in Sub-Saharan Africa. Nevertheless, the COVID-19-induced crisis took a severe toll on the Mauritian economy: although the country did not record many cases, the GDP plummeted by an estimated 14.9% in 2020 (IMF), mostly due to the international travel restrictions which prompted a collapse in tourism arrivals (the sector contributes around one-fifth of GDP and accounts for 22% of employment with significant spillover effects on the whole economy – African Development Bank). The recovery in the tourism sector was subdued in 2021 (arrivals in the first half of the year were less than 2% of 2019 levels); nevertheless, the construction, ICT, financial and insurance sectors had a positive contribution, with GDP growing an estimated 5% over the course of the year.  In 2022, a revival in the tourism sector is expected to push growth to 6.7% this year, followed by 4% in 2023 (IMF).

The country had been progressively reducing its debt-to-GDP ratio in recent years; however, the trend reversed, with the ratio reaching 101% in 2021 (from a pre-pandemic level of 84.6%) as the government took on more debt to finance its budget. However, such debt is almost exclusively denominated in local currency and three-quarters of it is domestic. The IMF forecasts the ratio to remain stable over the forecast horizon. Higher revenue collection contributed to a reduction in the FY2020-21 budget deficit, which stood at 7.8%. It is expected to follow a downward trend in 2022 (4.6% - IMF). Moreover, an increase in food and transport costs prompted a rise in inflation, which doubled from 2.5% in 2020 to 5.1% in 2021. Higher energy prices should bring the rate to 6.6% this year before it decreases to 3% in 2023 as per the IMF forecast. Overall, the country’s economy is driven by the services sector, which accounts for around 68.2% of GDP, with tourism (catering, accommodation, leisure, etc.) and financial services being the most vital sectors for the economy. The country's economy is diversified and also relies on its offshore financial activity, textile industry and production of sugarcane. Medical tourism, outsourcing, new technologies and the luxury industries are among developing sectors. Overall, the industrial sector accounts for 16.7% of GDP, while the agricultural sector contributes around 3.4% (World Bank). Furthermore, Mauritius enjoys political stability.

The island of Mauritius has made substantial progress in its campaign for social equality and poverty reduction, and represents an exemplary model of development. The island is classified as an upper-middle-income country by the World Bank, with a high Human Development Index, and is seeking to become a high-income country within the next decade. According to the IMF, GDP per capita (PPP) reached almost USD 22,030 in 2021, the second-highest in Africa after Seychelles. Despite government fiscal support, including wage subsidies, unemployment increased since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic – mostly as a consequence of the downturn of the tourism sector - reaching 10.5% in the first half of 2021 (Coface). Female labour participation is significantly low compared to male labour participation and youth unemployment stands around 25%.

 
Main Indicators 201920202021 (e)2022 (e)2023 (e)
GDP (billions USD) 14.0510.9211.0011.9513.06
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) 3.0e-14.95.06.74.0
GDP per Capita (USD) 11,0898,6198,6829,43810,309
General Government Balance (in % of GDP) -8.2-14.7-7.8-4.6-5.0
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 84.696.9101.099.8101.6
Inflation Rate (%) 0.52.54.08.45.7
Current Account (billions USD) -0.76-1.37-2.04-1.07-1.02
Current Account (in % of GDP) -5.4e-12.6-18.6-8.9-7.8

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database - October 2021.

Note: (e) Estimated Data


 
Monetary Indicators 20162017201820192020
American Dollar (USD) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 MUR 0.030.030.030.030.03

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.

 

Main Sectors of Industry

 
Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 6.0 23.7 70.3
Value Added (in % of GDP) 3.4 16.7 68.2
Value Added (Annual % Change) -2.6 -18.9 -13.5

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.

 
Socio-Demographic Indicators 20212022 (e)2023 (e)
Unemployment Rate (%) 9.57.87.5

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database - Latest available data

 

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The Active Population in Figures

201820192020
Labour Force 605,789606,150593,317

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

 
201720182019
Total activity rate 66.34%66.20%66.17%
Men activity rate 80.53%79.98%79.51%
Women activity rate 52.12%52.39%52.81%

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

 

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Indicator of Economic Freedom

Definition:

The Economic freedom index measure ten components of economic freedom, grouped into four broad categories or pillars of economic freedom: Rule of Law (property rights, freedom from corruption); Limited Government (fiscal freedom, government spending); Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labour freedom, monetary freedom); and Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom). Each of the freedoms within these four broad categories is individually scored on a scale of 0 to 100. A country’s overall economic freedom score is a simple average of its scores on the 10 individual freedoms.

Score:
77/100
World Rank:
13
Regional Rank:
1

Economic freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Index of Economic Freedom, Heritage Foundation

 
 

Sources of General Economic Information

Main Online Newspapers and Portals
Mauritius online newspapers list
Allafrica, News Mauritius
Mauritius News Sites
Useful Resources
Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development 
Bank of Mauritius
 
 

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Latest Update: May 2022