Mauritius said on Monday the business confidence in the country rose in the fourth quarter of this year as firms focused on new markets in Africa and Ocean region.
A Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) survey showed business confidence, which hit its lowest level in three years in the third quarter, crept back up to 88 points in the three months to December, but was still below the 2010 base level of 100 points, Reuters reported.
The east African Island, that is considered the financial hub of the region, expects economic growth of between 3.8-4 percent next year compared to an estimated 3.2 percent this year.
The country has been shifting its business focus to fast-growing African and Asian markets to cut its traditional dependency on Europe, where growth has been hurt by a crippling debt crisis.
“A majority of entrepreneurs claimed to have strengthened their efforts towards new markets in the region and on the African continent to feed growth,” Renganaden Padayachy, an economist at the chamber, was quoted by Reuters telling a news conference.
Easier access to private credit and improved trade logistics had also helped boost confidence, the chamber said, without elaborating. Mauritius cut its key repurchase agreements (repo) rate in June by 25 basis points to 4.65 percent.
More than three quarters of the 81 firms polled said they did not expect to raise their prices in the next quarter.
A survey of inflationary expectations released last week showed private sector firms anticipated inflation would be below 4.5 percent by June 2014. Inflation edged up to 3.5 percent in November.