Morocco's GDP grew 3.8% y/y in seasonally-adjusted terms in January-March 2013, speeding up from 2.8% a year earlier, on strong agriculture output, the High Council Planning said. In nominal terms, Morocco’s GDP expanded 6.1% y/y to MAD 214.9bn (USD 25.2bn). Morocco’s GDP growth will 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 value-added agriculture output, which employs some 40% of Morocco’s labour force, expanded by 17.7% y/y in Q1, the HCP said. A low prior-year base also played a role. Excluding agriculture, Morocco's export-oriented economy grew 1.9% y/y in Q1, slowing down from 4.5% the year before. Falling mining output (down 3.6%) and weaker EU demand dented non-agro growth over the period.
The manufacturing sector’s output growth braked to 0.5% y/y in Q1 from 2.9% the year earlier. The construction sector and public works shrank 5.9% y/y mainly due to a high prior-year base as demand for affordable housing has remained strong. The government has also cut capital spending to help redress the budget deficit. The utilities sector shrank 4.2% over the period on favourable weather conditions that cut energy demand. Trade (up 2.3% y/y) and restaurants and hotels (up 3.7%) also helped support GDP growth in Q1.
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