Bank Al-Maghrib Forecasts 22.4% Increase in Morocco’s Exports in 2021

Bank Al-Maghrib Forecasts 22.4% Increase in Morocco’s Exports in 2021

Rabat – Morocco’s Bank Al-Maghrib has predicted an increase of 22.4% in Morocco’s exports in 2021.

The central bank said in a press release today the expected increase will follow a global decline of 16.6% in exports this year.

An anticipated rise in automobile exports would result in the forecasted exports improvement, the bank explained.

Imports of goods, however, are expected to shrink by 17.4% in 2020 before a predicted increase of 17% in 2021.

The central bank also forecast a sharp drop in travel revenues from MAD 78.8 billion ($8.5 billion) in 2019 to MAD 23.9 billion ($2.6 billion) in 2020.

Bank Al-Maghrib argued that the figures will improve with expected revenues amounting to MAD 49.1 billion ($5.3 billion) in 2021.

Regarding remittances of Moroccans residing abroad, the bank expects to record a limited decline of 5% (MAD 61.5 billion, or $6.6 billion).

The year 2021 will see an improvement in remittances of 2.4% (MAD 63 billion, or $6.8 billion).

The bank forecast an account deficit to worsen and reach 6% of Morocco’s GDP this year, instead of the 10.3% that it forecast in June.

The deficit will shrink to 5.2 % of GDP in 2021.

In 2020, the bank expects foreign direct investment income to decline to around 1.5% of GDP, compared to 2.9% in 2019.

Bank Al-Maghrib expects foreign direct investment to return to its average pre-crisis levels in 2021.

The central bank expects that official reserve assets will reach MAD 294.7 billion ($31.9 billion) at the end of 2020 and MAD 289 billion ($31.2 billion) at the end of 2021, to cover the equivalent of six months and 20 days of imports of goods and services.

Like all countries, Morocco has acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the country’s economy, including key sectors.

In August, a report from the High Commission for Planning (HCP) announced an expectation that the COVID-19 crisis will put 1.06 million people in Morocco at risk of poverty this year.

HCP co-authored the report with the UN system in Morocco and the World Bank.

According to the report, the percentage of Moroccans “vulnerable to poverty” or “poor” will likely reach 19.87% in 2020.