Morocco scores best economic growth performance in MENA – IMF forecasts

Morocco will score the best economic growth performance in the MENA region as shown by the forecasts of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which has reviewed upwards its economic forecasts for the Kingdom.

Morocco’s growth is expected to reach 5.7 % in 2021, which is the best performance in the Middle East & North Africa Region, said the IMF in its report entitled “World Economic Outlook”, made public on Tuesday, October 12, 2021, at the fall meetings of the Bretton Woods institutions.

The IMF previous projections for the country in April were estimated at 4.5 pc. The new forecasts of 5.7% are a 1.3 point higher than previously.

The IMF new outlook takes into account several factors including the resilience of Moroccan economy and the strength of its recovery as well as the successful vaccination campaign.

Morocco’s growth outlook for 2021 is one of the highest in the region thanks to forward-looking measures taken by the government, under the leadership of King Mohammed VI, to shore up the economy by unlocking state spending and assistance to struggling enterprises and promoting entrepreneurship and safety-nets.

The strength of Morocco’s economic recovery is thus being confirmed as the World Bank also, last week, revised upwards the growth projection of the national economy for the year 2021 from 4.2% to 5.3%.

The optimism is shared by Morocco’s Central Bank, Bank Al Maghrib, which announced this Wednesday a rebound in economic activity that is expected to push growth to 6.2%.

The Central bank had previously forecast the economy to grow by 5.8% after it contracted 6.3% last year under the double impact of Covid-19 and drought.

But, a recovery of agricultural production by 18.5% thanks in part to a jump in cereals production to 10.3 million tons as well as the return of tourism and economic activity has bolstered Morocco’s growth prospect.

The economic rebound also came on the back of an uninterrupted and steady vaccination campaign. So far, Morocco tops African countries in terms of administered doses. It has administered 44 million doses.

The central bank also helped ensure stable monetary and financial conditions by keeping its accommodative policy with a benchmark interest rate unchanged at 1.5%.

King Mohammed VI has in his latest speech underscored the resilience of Morocco’s economy and asked the government to promote public investments and press ahead with the new development model.

The rise in exports, remittances and the recovery of tourism are all factors that augur well for the Moroccan economy and budgetary balances.

Foreign exchange reserves have now reached 38 billion dollars enough to cover 7 months of imports and the central bank has even intervened to buy excess hard currency in the domestic foreign exchange market.

The statistics by the World Bank and the IMF show that Morocco is expected to post the most vigorous growth rate of the MENA region. Morocco does better in particular than Egypt (3.3%), Tunisia (3%), Algeria (3.4%), United Arab Emirates (2.2%), as well as Jordan ( 2%).

It should be noted that at the global level, the international institution has slightly lowered its growth projections, now counting on 5.9% this year and 4.9% in 2022, while noting the persistence in the short term of the repercussions of the pandemic and its divergent effects.

About Khalid Al Mouahidi 3374 Articles
Khalid Al Mouahidi : A binational from the US and Morocco, Khalid El Mouahidi has worked for several american companies in the Maghreb Region and is currently based in Casablanca, where he is doing consulting jobs for major international companies . Khalid writes analytical pieces about economic ties between the Maghreb and the Mena Region, where he has an extensive network