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Morocco revises 2019 growth forecast down to 2.7%

The agency said it expected the Moroccan economy to grow 3.4% in 2020, with an improvement in foreign demand and prospects for a better harvest.

Picture: Pixabay.com.

CASABLANCA - Morocco’s planning agency on Tuesday lowered the North African country’s economic growth forecasts for 2019 to 2.7% from 2.9%, citing a dip in agricultural production.

The agency said it expected the Moroccan economy to grow 3.4% in 2020, with an improvement in foreign demand and prospects for a better harvest. Growth was 3% in 2018.

“Morocco’s economic growth remains vulnerable to rainfall and the performance of the agricultural sector,” said Ayach Khellaf, secretary general of the planning agency (HCP).

The 2020 growth forecast was also based on estimates of oil prices of $66 a barrel, as Morocco imports the bulk of its energy needs. Brent crude is currently priced at $64.32 a barrel.

Inflation will drop to 0.8% in 2019 from 1.1% in 2018, before picking up to 1% in 2020, HCP said.

The budget deficit was expected to ease to 3.5% in 2020 from the 3.6% forecast for this year.

Treasury debt was seen narrowing to 64.8% of gross domestic product in 2020 from 65.3% in 2019, triggering a drop in total debt to 80.7% of GDP in 2020 compared with 81.3% in 2019.

The current account deficit is expected to stand at 4.9% in 2020, down from 5.3% in 2019 as imports continue to outweigh exports.

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