Morocco’s GDP growth slows to 2.9% in the quarter

MOROCCO (OBSERVATORY) – Morocco’s economy grew 2.9 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2018, down from 3.8 percent in the same period last year, after a fall in agricultural output, the High Commissioner for Planning said in Morocco on Tuesday.

Morocco’s economy will grow 3 percent in the second quarter, down from 4.2 percent in the same period of 2017, due to falling agricultural production, the commission said.

Agricultural activity fell 0.5 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, she said, but agricultural production would still be the third highest since 2011 thanks to an abundance of rain despite its delay.

The non-farm sector grew 3.2 percent in the first quarter, up from 2.4 percent a year earlier, boosted by mining and services, the agency said.

The manufacturing commission grew 2.4 percent in the first quarter of 2018, compared with 2.3 percent a year earlier, the commission said.

Exports rose 5.2 percent on the back of increased demand from euro-zone countries, while imports jumped 12.5 percent on rising domestic demand, it added.

Morocco’s finance minister said last month his country’s economy would grow by more than 3.2 percent this year.

In January, Morocco launched a more flexible exchange rate regime under market liberalization reforms recommended by the International Monetary Fund to protect the country’s economy from external shocks and preserve its foreign exchange reserves.