Rabat – Rising insecurities about the economic outlook for 2018 have eroded the confidence of Moroccan households, according to the High Commission for Planning (HCP) in a report published January 18.
The annual index survey on household confidence shows that 24 percent of households are pessimistic about their living standards over the next twelve months. 40 percent anticipate that their financial conditions will remain the same, while nearly 36 percent are optimistic about the coming year.
In terms of employment status and opportunities, household confidence is alarmingly low. In the fourth quarter of 2017, 72.8 percent of surveyed households expect an increase in unemployment over the next 12 months. Just 14.3 percent of households believe unemployment will decrease.
While 30 percent against 11 percent of households expect an improvement in their financial situation over the next year, only 28 percent of households believe that they can save money after paying necessary living costs. Over the next twelve months, 80 percent of Moroccans think that food prices are going to continue to rise; just 5 percent believe that prices will fall.
A Look Back to 2017
A year ago, 35.4 percent of households reported a decline in their standard of living, 33.0 percent maintained the same level and 31.6 percent said that their situation had improved.
At the conclusion of 2017, nearly 30 percent of households reported being in debt or having to use savings to cover their expenses. Only 5.4 percent of Moroccans said that they could save portions of their income, while the overwhelming majority, 64.8 percent, said that they could barely make ends meet last year.
As to food prices, nearly 89 percent of households reported spending more in the last twelve months. Only 4 percent felt that prices had decreased.
In 2017, Moroccan households indicated a perceived improvement in the quality of administrative services (61.6 percent) against 16.6 percent who believe that quality has diminished further. Additionally, 51 percent of households believe that the human rights situation in Morocco has improved while nearly 15 percent believe that it has worsened.
The HCP survey also indicated that 22.5 percent of households believed there was an improvement in the quality of public education services, while 45.4 percent thought that they had deteriorated. As to public health services, fewer than 14 percent of households believe that health benefits and services have improved; 59 percent say they have deteriorated.