By Ahlam Ben Saga
Rabat – After the volatility that the national economy experienced after the fourth quarter of 2017, when GDP increased by 3.8 percent, then decreased by 2.6 percent during the first three months of 2018, GDP is expected to accelerate throughout the second quarter of 2018.
Morocco’s Higher Planning Commission (HCP) in charge of economic, demographic, and social statistics has good news for Morocco’s economy. HCP forecasts an increase to GDP as a result of an increase in international trade and rising world demand for Morocco’s goods and services, which is expected to boost the economy by 5.1 percent despite the notable slowdown in non-agricultural value add year over year in comparison with its performance in 2017.
This increase during the second quarter of the year will not only cover the export of leather, textile, and aerospace industries but will also enhance industrial investments and consumer expenditure by 3.7 percent, in addition to boosting consumer goods imports and capital accumulation by 3.6 percent.
The non-agricultural sectors will benefit from an improvement in the business climate in both emerging and advanced economies, as well as from significant increases in international trade.
With respect to national trade, the rise in oil price may hinder its growth as it hit USD 63 per barrel in comparison with 2017 where it peaked at USD 51 per barrel.
HCP expects industrial manufacturing to increase by 2.7 percent and foresees a decline by 1.9 percent in the rate of value added metals processing due to a decrease in external demand as well as the national price of phosphates.
Non-agricultural value add is expected to achieve 3.2 percent which will play a part in the acceleration of the national economy by 3 percent during the second quarter of 2018.
On the other hand, during the first quarter of the year, national economic growth was characterized by a slowdown of 2.6 percent due to the decline in agricultural value add by 0.5 percent versus the same quarter in 2017, where it hit 3.8 percent.
During the same period, the slowdown persisted in terms of monetary base whose rate stalled at 5 percent compared to its performance, 5.5 percent in 2017, as well as electronic and electricity equipment sector which decreased by 13.4 percent.
In contrast, the MASI and MADEX indexes have seen progress as the two increased at 14.8 and 14.5 percent throughout the first three months of 2018.
The chemical industry was also reported to have expanded to 123.2 percent, followed by hardware and software industry which has increased by 65 percent, mining by 42.5 percent, hospitality industry by 38.7 percent, and at last holding companies which have also steadily increased by 34.2 percent.
The synthesis of the aforementioned analytics suggest that the second quarter of 2018 should be a positive one reflecting various shifts in the components of GDP as the economy adapts to continuous changes in supply and demand.