Mauritius Cuts Rates for First Time in Two Years as Growth Slows

The Bank of Mauritius cut its benchmark interest rate for the first time in more than two years as the outlook for growth on the Indian Ocean island nation deteriorates.

The Monetary Policy Committee lowered its benchmark rate to 4.4 percent from 4.65 percent, Governor Rameswurlall Basant Roi told reporters Monday in the capital, Port Louis. The gauge had remained unchanged since June 2013, when it was lowered from 4.9 percent.

Statistics Mauritius in September trimmed its forecast for growth this year to 3.6 percent, compared with a June estimate of 3.8 percent. The central bank’s forecast for this year is even lower at 3.4 percent.

“The negative output gap is projected to persist during 2016,” Roi said in a statement posted on the bank’s website. The MPC “viewed that the inflation outlook was relatively moderate, while risks to the domestic growth outlook remained tilted to the downside.”

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