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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Thanks to a successful vaccination campaign, COVID19 cases have declined sharply in 2021, and the Moroccan economy is rebounding. Economic activity has recovered most of the ground lost with the severe recession of 2020 and is expected to grow at 6.3 percent in 2021. Among the factors propelling the rebound are the exceptional harvest after two years of drought, continued fiscal and monetary stimulus, and the persistent buoyancy of remittances. Going forward, Morocco’s growth is expected to remain at about 3 percent, assuming the acceleration of new cases in early 2022 proves transitory and the effects of the pandemic on activity gradually fade. Recent inflationary pressures remained manageable and are expected to wane in 2022, as cost pressures from global and domestic supply disruptions are reabsorbed. After its sharp contraction in 2020, the current account deficit is projected to widen in 2021 and over the medium term, but Morocco emerges from the pandemic with a much stronger international reserve position.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Thanks to a successful vaccination campaign, COVID19 cases have declined sharply in 2021, and the Moroccan economy is rebounding. Economic activity has recovered most of the ground lost with the severe recession of 2020 and is expected to grow at 6.3 percent in 2021. Among the factors propelling the rebound are the exceptional harvest after two years of drought, continued fiscal and monetary stimulus, and the persistent buoyancy of remittances. Going forward, Morocco’s growth is expected to remain at about 3 percent, assuming the acceleration of new cases in early 2022 proves transitory and the effects of the pandemic on activity gradually fade. Recent inflationary pressures remained manageable and are expected to wane in 2022, as cost pressures from global and domestic supply disruptions are reabsorbed. After its sharp contraction in 2020, the current account deficit is projected to widen in 2021 and over the medium term, but Morocco emerges from the pandemic with a much stronger international reserve position.
Mr. Paul Henri Mathieu, Mr. Marco Pani, Shiyuan Chen, and Mr. Rodolfo Maino
Using data collected from pan-African banks’ (PABs), balance sheets and other sources (Orbis, Fitch), this study identifies some key patterns of cross-border investment in bank subsidiaries by key banking groups in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and discusses some of the determinants of this investment. Using a gravity model relating the annual value of a banking group’s investment in the net equity of its subsidiaries to a set of explanatory variables, the analysis finds that cross-border banking is in part driven by a search for yield, diversification, and expansion for strategic reasons.
Mokhtar Benlamine, Mr. Ales Bulir, Meryem Farouki, Ágnes Horváth, Faical Hossaini, Hasnae El Idrissi, Zineb Iraoui, Mihály Kovács, Mr. Douglas Laxton, Anass Maaroufi, Katalin Szilágyi, Mohamed Taamouti, and David Vávra
The Central Bank of Morocco has been working on developing a Forecasting and Policy Analysis System (FPAS) to support a gradual move toward a more flexible exchange rate regime and the eventual adoption of a full-fledged inflation-targeting (IT) regime. At the center of the FPAS is a quarterly projection model that was tailored for two different types of exchange rate regimes. Presently, the fixed exchange rate model version is to be used during the pre-IT period, while the flexible exchange rate model version is to be used to prepare alternative scenarios for monetary policy decision makers to discuss the potential policy implications of shocks under an IT regime.
Mr. Calixte Ahokpossi, Pilar Garcia Martinez, and Laurent Kemoe
We estimate the latent factors that underlie the dynamics of the sovereign bond yield curve in Morocco during 2004–14 based on the Dynamic Nelson-Siegel model. On this basis, we explore the interaction between macroeconomic variables and the yield curve, which is of direct relevance to macroeconomic policy-making. In Morocco’s context, we find that tighter monetary policy increases short-end maturities, and that the impact is small and short-lived. Economic activity is also briefly but significantly impacted, suggesting that even under a pegged exchange rate, monetary policy autonomy and effectiveness can be increased through greater central bank independence. Fiscal improvements significantly lower yield levels. Policy conclusions are that improvement in the fiscal and monetary policy frameworks, as well as greater financial sector development and inclusion, could benefit Morocco and strengthen the transmission mechanisms and effectiveness of macroeconomic policies.
International Monetary Fund
Despite uneven progress, there are early signs of improvement and macroeconomic stabilization in some Arab Countries in Transition (ACTs). 1 However, persistently weak growth and subdued private investment amid heightened regional insecurity continue to weigh on the task of reducing unemployment. This calls for accelerated reform efforts by the authorities to achieve higher, more inclusive, and more private sector-led growth, supported by external partners. In addition, mobilizing affordable external financing could help boost well-implemented public investment and provide a short-term impetus to growth and employment, thereby stabilizing difficult socio-political conditions on the ground and providing space for deeper structural reforms.
International Monetary Fund
In an environment of heightened socio-economic tensions, regional insecurity, and strained public finances, the Arab Countries in Transition (ACTs) 1 face the difficult task of delivering on the expectations for jobs and growth. Despite patchy improvements in some countries, economic growth remains subdued, private investment is weak, and external and fiscal buffers are running low. Fostering social cohesion and avoiding a downward spiral of economic and political malaise calls for urgent implementation of economic reforms and coordinated support from the international community.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Morocco has made substantial progress in increasing inclusive growth over the past decade, but additional efforts in terms of growth-enhancing structural reforms are needed. Preserving economic efficiency and fostering growth while strengthening inclusiveness remains a priority. This paper describes the fuel subsidy system in Morocco, introduces an organizing framework to illustrate the trade-offs involved in meeting various economic and social objectives when considering subsidy reform, and highlights some lessons from the international experience in implementing subsidy reforms that may be pertinent to the case of Morocco.
International Monetary Fund
Arab Countries in Transition (ACTs) continue to face high political uncertainty and social pressures. The uprisings and protests have generated the promise of a better life for 300 million people, but forthcoming elections and constitutional reform, as well as populations anxious for jobs and higher incomes, complicate policymaking for many governments. At the same time, fiscal and reserves buffers have diminished sharply, underscoring the urgent need to maintain macroeconomic stability in an environment of sluggish global growth, high commodity prices, and still impaired domestic confidence. Resolute policy action and support from the international community are required; particularly as last year’s subdued growth in the ACTs (except Libya) is expected to improve only slightly in 2013 and is overshadowed by persistent external and regional risks. It will be equally important for policymakers to move quickly on designing and implementing effective structural reforms to build dynamic and inclusive economies that generate (many) more jobs than are available today. Promoting private-sector growth and international trade, as well as attracting foreign direct investment inflows, will be key components of success. Financial assistance and technical expertise from external partners, including Transition Fund projects, can make a big difference in this endeavor.
Padamja Khandelwal and Agustin Roitman
Over the past two years, ongoing political transitions in many Arab countries have led to social unrest and an economic downturn. This paper examines comparable historical episodes of political instability to derive implications for the near- and medium-term economic outlook in the Arab countries in transition. In general, past episodes of political instability were characterized by a sharp deterioration in macroeconomic outcomes and a sluggish recovery over the medium term. Recent economic developments in the Arab countries in transition seem to be unfolding along similar lines, although the weak external environment and large fiscal vulnerabilities could result in a prolonged slump.