Morocco’s central bank maintained its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 2.5%, underscoring the subdued medium-term CPI inflation outlook at 1.8% in 2015 and an average of 1.5% price growth over the next six quarters. The c-bank also noted the improving external position amid narrowing CA gap on smaller trade deficit due to falling imports and rising exports. The c-bank also expects improvement in economic activity and bank lending.
The central bank remains upbeat on the 2015 GDP outlook despite cutting this year’s economic growth projection to 4.6% from the previous 5.0%. The 2015 GDP growth will, however, accelerate from last year’s 2.4%. Growth will be supported by strong agriculture output that will mitigate the still subdued non-agro growth at 3.3% in 2015. In 2016, Morocco’s GDP growth will brake to 2.4% on cooling agriculture output, according to the central bank.
The central bank was also upbeat on the external sector amid narrowing trade deficit (down 20.4% y/y at end-August) on rising exports and dropping imports. The favourable trade balance parameters coupled with revenues from grants of GCC countries (MAD6bn) and assuming an average oil price of $57 a barrel, will cut current account (CA) deficit to about 2.8% of GDP in 2015, from 5.9% in 2015, the central bank forecasts.
Such positive indicators, coupled with a 23% annual hike in net FDI to MAD 24.2bn at end-August will also help lift FX reserves. The latter totalled MAD210bn at end-August covering around 6 months of imports, the central bank said.
Lebanon has become the fifth member country from the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region to join the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), becoming a shareholder with ... more
Evolution Equity Partners announced on 17 July the final closing of a new fund with total capital commitments of $125mn to make investments in cybersecurity and next generation enterprise software ... more
Passengers boarding an early morning July 5 Turkish Airlines (THY) flight to John F Kennedy International Airport in New York were allowed to include laptops and electronic devices larger than a ... more