The evolution of the inflation growth rate is associated with imported natural gas prices.
Rabat – The High Commission for Planning (HCP) expects inflation to continue to evolve at “relatively” contained levels during the year 2021.
HCP expects the inflation rate growth to accelerate in the second quarter given the upward trend in crude oil prices recorded since last February (+12.7%), associated with the turnaround in the prices of imported agricultural commodities.
The forecasts were presented in a report on the evolution of consumer prices during the year 2020 and its outlook during the first half of the year 2021.
HCP also explained the increase in edible oil prices and other food products, mainly cereals, are due to a rise in the prices of raw materials on the international market.
The consumption expenditure for edible oil represents 1.7% of the overall index and 7.07% for bread and cereals.
At the end of February 2021, the international price of sunflower and soybean oil rose, respectively, by 9.2% and 25.8%, compared to +11.2% and +9.4% in the past year. The price of maize has increased by 40.9%, against a decrease of -2.7% in 2020, and that of wheat by +13.6%, instead of +7.8% in 2020.
The HCP noted that the price of red meat could also rise as animal feed and fattening are made up of corn, barley, and soybean, all of which are imported products.
The same is predicted to happen for eggs and white meat as poultry feed is made from imported composite products.
The public institution shared reassuring forecasts saying that inflationary risks “would remain limited in the short term” mentioning that the rise in the prices of imported raw materials would be alleviated by the appreciation of the dirham against the dollar (-6.3% in January 2021, instead of -1.3% in 2020).
Meanwhile, the rate of inflation for 2021 would remain at moderate levels after experiencing a good agricultural year preceded by two years of drought in a row.
In the second quarter of 2021, the inflation rate is projected to stand at 1.2%, instead of 0.1% in the first quarter due to a 2% rebound in consumer prices for non-food products instead of 0.9% a quarter earlier.