Mauritius saw a rise in prices last month, with headline inflation rate for the twelve months ending March 2014 working out to 4% compared to 3.9% for the twelve months ending February 2014, according to a report by Statistics Mauritius.

The inflation rate escalated on the back of higher costs of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels as well as transport, according to data released on Monday.

Accordingly, increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) were registered in the following divisions: housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels by 0.3 %; furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance by 0.2%; transport by 0.2%; restaurants and hotels by 0.1% and miscellaneous goods and services by 0.4 %.

The inflation rate for the twelve months ending March 2014 also compares unfavorably with the twelve months ending March 2013 when it stood at 3.6%.

However, the year-on-year rate of inflation, used by the Indian Ocean island’s policymakers to determine monetary policy, fell to 4.5 percent from 5.6 percent, Statistics Mauritius said.

Last Friday, Mauritius central bank governor Rundheersing Bheenick insisted that the key repo rate must be increased in order to bring down inflation. Mauritius must raise interest rates if it intends to achieve the year-end inflation target of four per cent, he noted.

He estimated that if the bank’s repo rate level was raised 50 basis points from its current 4.65 per cent, the year-on-year inflation rate is expected to slow to around 4 per cent by December from 5.6 per cent in February.

Image (Government of Mauritius): The inflation rate escalated on the back of higher costs of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels as well as transport, according to data released on Monday.

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