Rabat - Despite efforts to increase national production and boost economic competitiveness, Morocco’s trade deficit continues to expand.
Rabat – Despite efforts to increase national production and boost economic competitiveness, Morocco’s trade deficit continues to expand.
With Moroccan imports (MAD 358.8 billion) markedly higher than its exports (MAD 201.5 billion), an assessment by Bank Al Maghrib, the central bank, shows figures of an economy severely hit in almost all major income-generating activities.
Although regularly applauded by international financial institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, Morocco’s economic performance has stagnated in the last two to three years.
By October 12, Morocco’s foreign exchange reserves had dropped by 0.4 percent year to date, a continuation of the country’s already negative import-export balance. Morocco’s trade deficit in the first nine months of this year was 8.2 percent.
“Preliminary results for the first nine months of the year indicate a sharp increase in imports,” a report by the foreign exchange regulator said on Wednesday. It added that Morocco’s increasing imports and shrinking exports “translate into a deepening of the trade deficit by MAD11,485.”
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), an important contributor to Morocco’s industrial aspirations, registered a 3.2 percent decrease in the first nine months of 2018, severely affecting economic output.
Meanwhile, tourism and remittances from Moroccans residing abroad, two income sources that traditionally appease global financial market shocks on Morocco’s unsteadily-performing economy, dropped by 0.2 and 1.1 percent, respectively.
Despite the deepening trade deficit, the automobile and phosphates industries have stood out with positive developments.
Powered by French giants Renault and PSA Group, the country’s bourgeoning automobile sector. It registered a 14.6 percent increase in production between January and September this year. In the same period, sales of phosphates jumped 16.6 percent.