Morocco’s national economy is expected to grow by 3.3% in the first quarter of 2020, after increasing by 2.3% at the end of 2019.
The commission also expects economic growth to reach 3.3% in the first quarter of 2020, exceeding the 2.5% growth of the same period in 2019.
HCP published its report on the results of economic growth in the last quarter of 2019 and forecasts for the first quarter of 2020 earlier in January.
A decline in automobile and phosphate exports
The institution recorded a small increase of 1.1% in foreign demand for Moroccan exports in the last quarter of 2019. Global demand for exports recorded a 2.8% growth in the same period of 2018.
Along with the slow growth of foreign demand, Moroccan exports increased by only 0.1%, declining from a 2% growth in the previous quarter. HCP cites clothes, food, and agricultural products as the exports that decreased the most.
A decrease in phosphates exports has also contributed to the slowing down of Moroccan exports by 1.2%. Additionally, automotive industry exports continued to slow down, in parallel with a global decrease in car sales, especially in Europe and China, notes the report.
On the other hand, Moroccan imports increased by 0.9% in the last quarter of 2019, recording a decline from 2.4% in the previous quarter.
The decline in imports is due to a decrease in the imports of energy and raw materials, along with a drop in their prices, justifies the document.
Imports of equipment, cars, plastic materials, copper and iron wires, and edible products such as cereals and sugar is set to increase because of a rise in local demand, adds the report.
Overall, the trade deficit will increase by 2% while the import coverage by exports will reach 55.7%.
Increasing consumption and “improving” purchase power
The report revealed that consumption loans increased by 4.7% in the last quarter of 2019, proving that the expenditure of Moroccan households is on the rise, along with purchase power.
Consumption expenditure for Moroccan households reached 2.5%, compared to 2% in the previous quarter, while public expenses increased by 3.7%.
Capital growth has also increased by 2.9% because of the increasing costs of investments, explains the report.
Agriculture will continue its recession, recording a decline of 5.4% in the last quarter of 2019, compared to the previous year.
While fruit production, except citruses, has been increasing by 4.9% on average in the last ten years, it declined by 2.8% in the last quarter of 2019.
On the other hand, the production of vegetables, citruses, and olives, as well as animal goods, including honey and poultry are slowly increasing.
Slight growth in non agricultural activities
The added value of non agricultural economic sectors increased by 3.2% in the last quarter of 2019, growing from 3% in the previous quarter.
A growth in tourism and transport increased the added value of the tertiary sector by 3.3%, while the secondary sector grew by 2.7%.
The metals industry recorded the highest growth in the last quarter of 2019, with 4.8%, against only 2.2% in the previous quarter.
Increase in consumer prices
Consumer prices increased by 0.8% in the last quarter of 2019, rising from a 0.4% increase in the previous quarter, especially the prices of fresh products.
However, the inflation rate in the last quarter of 2019 was only 0.7%, after being 1.3% in the previous quarter.
The inflation rate for 2019 as a whole was 1%, rising from 0.7% in 2018.
Forecasts of increasing growth
HCP forecasts a positive evolution for the national economy in the first quarter of 2020 because of an improving global economic climate and a reduction of tension between China and the United States.
Global trade will continue to recover by increasing slowly and global inflation will reach 2%, according to the report.
Under that evolution, the global demand for Moroccan exports is expected to increase by 3.1% in 2020.
The report also expects the tertiary sector’s contribution to the GDP to increase by 3.3% in the first quarter of 2020, and that of the secondary sector to increase by 2.3%.
Finally, the document predicts agriculture production to increase by 6.8%, especially in the months of February and March because of rain.