RABAT, July 14 (Reuters) – Morocco’s economic growth will slow to 1.3% in 2022, following growth of 7.9% in 2021, due to drought, imported inflation and a drop in foreign demand, the country’s planning agency said on Thursday. Growth would pick up to 3.7% in 2023, assuming average agricultural output and improved domestic demand on the back of a deceleration of inflation to 0.8% from 4.9% a year earlier, the agency said in its latest forecast.
The fiscal deficit would be maintained at 5.4% this year and next year, as higher tax revenue compensates for a surge in spending.
Subsidies on soft wheat, sugar and cooking gas would represent 2.5% of Morocco’s GDP this year, the agency said.
The trade deficit would deepen to 17.9% of GDP this year and 17.5% next year, it said, citing a higher energy bill.
The agency forecast Morocco’s foreign exchange reserves to stand at 320 billion dirams ($31 billion), enough to cover 5.8 months of import needs.
Total public debt is expected to rise to 83.3% of GDP this year, compared with 82.5% last year.
Money supply is seen increasing 5.8% in 2022 and 4.4% in 2023, it said.
(Reporting by Ahmed Eljechtimi; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Leslie Adler)
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