(Updates with analyst’s comments in third paragraph.)
July 5 (Bloomberg) -- Mauritius’s annual inflation rate fell to a five-month low in June, curbed by two successive increases in the benchmark interest rates this year.
Inflation decelerated to 6.6 percent in June from 7.1 percent a month earlier, the Port Louis-based Central Statistics Office said a statement on its website today. That’s the weakest rate of price gains since January, according to data from the Bank of Mauritius’s website.
The Bank of Mauritius raised its benchmark repo rate to 5.5 percent on June 13 to rein in price growth that accelerated for six straight months to 7.2 percent in March, the strongest level in more than two years.
“The 0.75 percent rise in the interest rate this year has helped” slow inflation, Swadicq Nuthay, an economist at the Port Louis-based Axys Capital Management Ltd, said by phone. “It’s not an indication that inflation is slowing down. Pressures are still there. It’s too early.”
The Indian Ocean island nation, with a population of 1.3 million people, is a net importer of food and fuels, with 67 percent of imports invoiced in dollars.
The rupee depreciated the most in more than two weeks against the U.S. currency, losing as much as 1.8 percent to 28.55 per dollar before trading 0.7 percent weaker at 28.25 by 11:48 a.m., paring its increase this year to 9.3 percent.
--Editors: Ana Monteiro, Karl Maier
To contact the reporter on this story: Kamlesh Bhuckory in Port Louis at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at email@example.com -0- Jul/05/2011 08:06 GMT