IMF predicts Morocco’s economic growth at 6.3% in 2021, around 3% in 2022

RABAT, Dec. 10 (Reuters) – The Moroccan economy is expected to grow 6.3% in 2021, one of the highest rates in the Middle East and North Africa region, before slowing to around 3%. next year, the International Monetary Fund said on Friday.

This growth is due to a “successful vaccination campaign (COVID-19)” as well as “the continuation of fiscal and monetary stimulus measures, the rebound in exports, the dynamism of remittances and the bumper harvest after two years. drought, ”said Roberto Cardarelli of the IMF. journalists after a meeting with the Moroccan authorities.

The Moroccan economy contracted 6.3% last year under the combined impact of the pandemic and drought.

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“Recent inflationary pressures have remained manageable and are expected to ease over the medium term as cost pressures resulting from global supply disruptions are relieved,” Cardarelli said.

With the North African country’s current account deficit close to its pre-pandemic level of 3.5% of GDP in the medium term, the IMF official said Morocco was emerging from the pandemic with a position of much stronger international reserve.

Remittances from Moroccans abroad hit a record 80 billion dirhams ($ 8.6 billion) in the first 10 months of 2021, offsetting weak tourism receipts.

The country’s foreign exchange reserves are enough to cover seven months of imports, according to official figures.

Cardarelli urged Morocco to reduce its budget deficit and bring the debt-to-GDP ratio back to pre-pandemic levels in the medium term in order to “rebuild fiscal buffers and increase resilience in the face of future negative shocks”.

He said the IMF praised Morocco’s accommodative monetary policy, urged the country’s central bank to ensure that banks “continue to fund themselves against bad loans, and recommended that the development of a debt market. troubled debt be accelerated.

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Reporting by Ahmed Eljechtimi Editing by Paul Simao

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