Morocco’s economy is expected to grow by 2.9% in 2019, marginally slower than last year and still driven by domestic demand.
The growth forecast was based on prospects for an average crop year and an oil price of $67 a barrel, the head of the planning agency, Ahmed Lahlimi said on last week Wednesday.
“Morocco’s growth is still dependent on agriculture and rainfall,” he said.
Despite an exceptional crop year in 2018, the economy grew by 3 percent last year, down from 4.1 percent in 2017, due to “a drop in non-agricultural activity and a decrease in external demand,” he said.
Morocco’s cereals output last year as an unusually high 10.3 million tonnes, including 4.91 million tonnes of soft wheat, 2.42 million tonnes of hard wheat and 2.92 million of barley.
Inflation will ease to 1.2 percent in 2019 from 1.6 percent last year, the planning agency’s data showed.
The current account deficit will narrow to 4.3 percent of GDP in 2019, from 4.5 percent in 2018, against the backdrop of a slight drop in the trade deficit to 18.1 percent of GDP compared to 18.3 percent in 2018.
The budget deficit would reach 3.7 percent in 2019, down from 3.9 percent in 2018.
Last month, the International Monetary Fund approved a Precautionary and Liquidity Line (PLL) worth about $2.97 billion as an insurance against economic shocks.
Under this precautionary arrangement, the fourth of its kind since 2012, Morocco can access about $1.73 billion in the first year, the IMF said.
Morocco is also expected to issue an international sovereign bond this year.
The planning agency forecast Morocco’s total public debt will rise to 82.5 percent of GDP in 2019 from 82.2 percent in 2018, while the treasury’s debt would stand at 66.1 percent of GDP in 2019, up from 65.8 percent last year.
Money supply would rise 4 percent in 2019, accelerating from 3.5 percent growth last year as Morocco’s foreign exchange reserves are expected to stand at 235 billion dirhams in 2019, up from 230 billion dirhams in 2018, the agency said.
Publication: Africa Property News