Morocco’s GDP growth accelerates to 5.1% y/y in Q2 2013 on strong agro output

By bne IntelliNews October 1, 2013

Morocco's GDP grew 5.1% y/y in April-June 2013, quickening from 3.8% in Q1 and 2.7% the year before on strong agriculture output which offset slowing non-agriculture growth, the High Council Planning said on October 1. In nominal terms, Morocco’s GDP expanded 6.9% y/y to MAD 219.2bn (USD 26.6bn).

Morocco’s GDP growth should rise to 4.5% in 2013 from an estimated 3.0% the year before, the IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook published in April. The government, however, forecasts a 4.8% GDP expansion this year, up from 2.7% in 2012. A recovering tourism and services income, better agriculture output and lower oil prices, might help Morocco achieve its GDP growth target in 2013.

The value-added agriculture output, which employs some 40% of Morocco’s labour force, grew 22.8% y/y in Q2 in seasonally-adjusted terms compared with a 9.5% y/y contraction a year earlier. A low prior-year base also played a role. The agriculture output will expand 6.1% in 2013 due to an expected better harvest season, the statistics office HCP has recently said.

Excluding agriculture, Morocco's export-oriented economy grew 2.5% y/y in Q2 (1.9% in Q1), slowing down from a 4.5% y/y increase a year ago. A sluggish mining output (up 0.1% y/y) and weaker EU demand dented non-agro growth over the period.

The manufacturing sector’s output growth braked to 0.8% y/y in Q2 from 1.4% the year earlier but inched up from 0.5% in January-March. The construction sector and public works shrank 4.6% y/y in Q2 compared with a 3.5% growth the year before. The government has cut capital spending to help redress the budget deficit. The utilities sector shrank 0.9% over the period on favourable weather conditions that cut energy demand. Trade (up 3.7% y/y) and restaurants and hotels (up 5.1%) helped support the GDP growth in Q2.

Households consumption grew 4.0% y/y in Q2, speeding up from 2.2% the year before also helping boost the GDP growth. 

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