Moroccans Are Pessimistic About Their Ability to Save Money in 2019

A currency dealer counts Moroccan dirhams in a photo illustration at a currency exchange in Casablanca, Morocco, June 29, 2017. Picture taken June 29, 2017. REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal/Illustration – RTX3B9S6

Rabat – According to a study by the High Commission for Planning (HCP) based on interviews with Moroccan households, 82 percent of households said that they will be unable to save in the next twelve months.

Describing households who do not expect to save as “pessimistic” about their financial situation, HCP showed the balance of opinion between households who expressed negative opinions versus the ones who expressed positive opinions.

In the fourth quarter of 2018, the balance of opinion was –63 points, slightly better than the -65 points in the quarter before it, but worse than the -59 points a year earlier.

The rate of households who reported that food prices increased in the last twelve months was 90.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018. As few as 0.1 percent of households believe that food prices decreased.

The balance of opinion on food prices remained negative at -88 points in the previous quarter and -89 points a year before.

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For the next twelve months, 86.9 percent of households think that food prices will continue to rise, but only 0.3 percent believe the prices will decrease.

The perceptions of Moroccan households regarding the rise of food prices is not a surprise.

In the beginning of 2018, only 21 percent of households expected to save money in the coming year, whereas 79 percent said that they would be unable to save, according to HCP.

Last year, households anticipated higher food prices, deterioration of their living standards, and inability to save money and purchase durable goods.

The households’ predictions played out in the April 2018 boycott that targeted three major companies, Afriquia gasoline, Centrale Danone (dairy products), and Sidi Ali (mineral water), due to high prices.

The boycott campaign was a way for Moroccans to say that the daily living expenses weighed on their shoulders.