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Mauritius Inflation Rate Falls to Lowest in 2 1/2 Years

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Feb. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Mauritian consumer inflation slowed to ta 2 1/2-year low in January as transport and communications costs held steady.

The inflation rate dropped to 2.9 percent, the lowest since September 2010, from 3.2 percent in December, Statistics Mauritius said in a statement on its website in the capital, Port Louis. Prices rose 0.8 percent in the month, it said.

Bank of Mauritius governor Rundheersing Bheenick said on Feb. 6 that monetary policy in the Indian Ocean island nation will “continue to be guided by our primary objective of price stability and the promotion of orderly balanced economic development.”

The central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee in December left the bank’s benchmark interest rate unchanged at 4.9 percent. Some members of the committee had called for an increase to ward off inflationary pressures.

Mauritius, an Indian Ocean island nation with a population of about 1.3 million people, is a net buyer of food and fuels. Imports account for nearly 53 percent of the consumer price basket, according to the central bank.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christina Vilbrin in Port Louis at cvilbrin@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Richardson at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net

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