Morocco’s economy expanded by a real 4.5% in 2015, accelerating from a 2.6% growth the preceding year, solely on strong agriculture output and related harvest that mitigated weakening activity in the non-agro economy and sluggish domestic demand, the High Council Planning (HCP) said.
GDP growth is expected to decelerate in 2016 to 2.3% due to the drought in the winter that cut agricultural output. Sluggish growth in Europe – Morocco’s main trade partner – and continued modest non-agricultural growth will also dampen the economic expansion, according to the EBRD.
Job losses in the value-added agriculture sector largely offset rising job creation in the services and manufacturing sectors, boosting Morocco's unemployment rate to 10.0% in the first quarter of 2016 from 9.5% in Q4 last year and 9.9% in Q1 2015. The jobless rate has thus hit the long-standing benchmark of 10% in a warning sign to the government that has failed to largely diversify its agro-dependent economy.
In 2015, the jobless rate also eased to 9.7% from 9.9% the year before.
The value-added agriculture sector, which employs nearly 40% of Morocco’s labour force, grew 12.8% last year, reversing a 2.2% annual contraction the year before, amid favourable weather conditions that boosted Morocco's agricultural output. The prior-year low base thus played a key role.
Excluding agriculture, Morocco's export-oriented economy grew a mild 1.9% in 2015, slowing from 2.5% expansion in 2014.
In nominal terms, Morocco’s GDP grew 6.3% y/y to MAD982.23bn in 2015.
The HCP underscored a 0.9% rise in domestic demand in 2015, down from a 1.2% expansion the preceding year.
US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis on October 3 told the Senate Armed Services Committee that it currently appears to be in the strategic interest of Washington to remain in the Iran nuclear deal. ... more
Iran’s foreign minister has said the country is willing to formally accept a tougher nuclear inspection regime in six years. However, Mohammad Javad Zarif continued to rule out any renegotiation of ... more
Iran has jumped seven places for economic competitiveness, according to the 2017-18 edition of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF’s) Global Competitiveness ... more