Despite the government’s hope to reduce its budget deficit in 2018, Morocco’s treasury debt continued to increase.
Rabat – According to the latest report from the Department of Treasury and External Finances (DTFE), the treasury debt reached MAD 715 billion by the end of September, up 4.6 percent from September 2017.
Due to spending exceeding revenue, Morocco’s budget deficit for the first three quarters of 2018 was more than MAD 29 billion.
The report noted that with MAD 715 billion in debt, the treasury’s total debt represents 67.3 percent of the 2017 GDP. The 2018 GDP data is not yet available.
Meanwhile, debts of enterprises and public companies in the country are estimated at MAD 178 billion as of June 2018.
The report forecasts that the rate of the national debt has continued to grow throughout the last quarter of 2018.
The government sought to reduce its annual budget deficit from 3.5 percent of GDP in 2017 to 3 percent in 2018. However, the report foresees that the year will end with a higher deficit than that of last year’s due to the decline in tax revenue.
The expected rate is estimated at around 3.8 percent.
In a parliamentary meeting in October, the president of the court of auditors, Driss Jettou, warned about the treasury’s debt, which reached MAD 692 billion by the end of 2017.
Jettou called on the government to raise taxes and cut spending, to accelerate growth to reduce debt, and to ensure that Morocco can meet its debt obligations over the medium and long-term.
Both internal and external debts increased significantly between 2016 and 2017.
The report also drew attention to the alarming increase of the country’s external debts, which amounted to MAD 153 billion by the end of September, representing 21 percent of the total amount of the treasury debt.The public external debt amounts to over MAD 330 billion, representing 31 percent of the 2017 GDP.
According to Trading Economics, Morocco held MAD 492 billion in external debt by this summer.