Post-Covid-19: AfDB forecasts 4% GDP growth in Morocco in 2021

The African Development Bank (AfDB) expects a 4 pc GDP growth in Morocco in 2021 after the country’s economic activity was affected like other countries around the world by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In its “African Economic Outlook 2020 – Supplement”, the African Bank says Morocco’s budget and current account deficits should improve next year, respectively reaching 4.8 pc –5.3 pc and 4.2 pc–5.3 pc of GDP.

The Coronavirus pandemic has altered Morocco’s economic forecast as the global health crisis has affected the country’s main trading partners (Spain, France, Italy and Germany), says the AfDB report.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on Morocco’s exports, particularly natural phosphates and derivative products, which accounted for half of exports and a tenth of GDP in 2018–2019, and imports of equipment for Morocco’s global automobile, aeronautic, and electronics sectors, adds the document.

The Covid-19 lockdown measures have also affected Morocco’s tourism, hotels, restaurants, and transportation.

Regarding the management of the health crisis, the African financial institution noted that thanks to the special Covid-19 fund, Morocco acquired 100,000 testing kits, 550 ventilators, and 1,000 intensive care beds, bringing the total number to 2,642.

Field hospitals have been set up across the Kingdom with support from the army, says the African Bank. Morocco’s Economic Watch Committee (Comité de veille économique – CVE) has created social safety nets to support workers, including payments of a monthly allowance of around $203 to employees of struggling businesses and direct monthly assistance ranging from $80 to $125 for informal sector workers, distributed via mobile payments, says the report.

The AfDB also lauds the support provided by Moroccan authorities to smaller enterprises, which benefited from a suspension of social security payments from March 1 to June 30, a moratorium on bank loans and repayment of leases until June 30…

According to “African Economic Outlook 2020 – Supplement”, Africa’s economic growth could rebound to 3 pc in 2021 provided that governments manage the Covid-19 infection rate well.

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