The COVID-19 pandemic and state of emergency measures in Morocco significantly contributed to the current figures.
Rabat – The amount of cash in circulation in Morocco hit MAD 312 billion ($34.14 billion) at the end of July, Bank Al Maghrib announced in a monthly notice.
Meanwhile, bank deposits in Morocco increased by only 1.7%, or MAD 16.5 billion ($1.81 billion). The total sum is MAD 965 billion ($105.58 billion), according to Morocco’s central bank.
The bank described a continuation of the upward trend Morocco has seen in recent years. Cash circulation in Morocco notably increased in 2019 with the expansion of tax controls, encouraging depositors to reduce their assets.
Morocco is now seeing an even larger surge in 2020. The amount of cash in circulation increased by 24.8%, or MAD 61.9 billion ($6.78 billion), in only seven months.
Compared to annual changes in previous years, 2020’s surge is more than triple the usual rate. The amount of currency in circulation increased by 26.2% between July 2019 and July 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic and state of emergency measures in Morocco significantly contributed to the current figures, with Moroccans rushing to withdraw cash at the onset of lockdown in March.
The continuation of the state of emergency during Eid Al Adha and summer vacation added to Moroccans’ cash withdrawals.
The amount of cash in circulation also accounts for state-sponsored financial aid to vulnerable families in Morocco. The Moroccan government provided cash stipends totaling more than MAD 12 billion ($1.31 billion) over the course of several months.
Morocco’s Economic Monitoring Committee, created to mitigate the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, distributed stipends for the months of March, April, and May. Morocco’s Special Fund for the Management and Response to COVID-19 financed the aid.
More than 4.3 million informal workers who lost work due to COVID-19 measures benefited from the program.