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BAM Governor: National Economy Fails to Meet Expectations

The governor of the Bank Al Maghrib (BAM) said that the major projects achieved in 2018 failed to meet social expectations.

30 Jul 2019

Rabat – On the eve of the Throne Day, King Mohammed VI received the Governor of Morocco’s central bank, BAM, Abdellatif Jouhari at his royal palace in Tetouane, North Morocco.

During the meeting, Jouahri presented the central bank’s annual report on the economic situation for the 2018 financial year.

Jouahri acknowledged that Morocco’s economic performance in 2018 failed to meet the “growing social expectations.”

He said that Morocco experienced challenges due to the slow recovery of non agricultural sectors last year.

The business expert said that domestic economic growth stood at 3.0%.

Jouahri also echoed statistics of the High COmmissioner for Planning (HCP), emphasizing that unemployment fell to 9.8% in 2018.

Despite the slight changes in employment rate, unemployment among youth aged 15 to 24 remains high, especially in urban areas.

HCP said in a report that unemployment hovers around 40% in some urban areas.

Regarding macroeconomic balances, fiscal consolidation slowed down moderately, according to Jouhari as the deficit widened to 3.7% of the Gross Domestic Products (GDP).

He added that the current account deficit expanded to 5.5% of GDP despite “continued strong performance of exports.”

He added that inflows of foreign investments reached MAD 47.4 billion and net international reserves stood at the equivalent of slightly over 5 months of imports.

“Under these conditions, inflation rose significantly to 1.9%, mainly driven by higher volatile food prices,” the governor told the King.

Reforms urgently needed

Jouahri said that Morocco is in dire need of reform to place the country back on the path of higher growth.

For Jouahri, Morocco needs reforms with “greater efficiency and performance.” He also advised taking into account the changes in the international business climate.

Jouahri also called for a reform to the education and training system.

Most recently, the political scene witnessed controversy over the adoption of draft bill, stipulating French as a language to teach technical and scientific subjects at Moroccan schools.

On July 22, the House of Representatives adopted the draft law, angering several Moroccan politicians, including former head of government Abdelilah Benkirane.

The law created division among political parties.

Jouahri called on Morocco’s government, however, to give more attention and a new vision which will save Morocco’s education system.

Jouahri said that education and training system has suffered from “political calculations, at a time when the digital revolution is enhancing requirements of the labor market.”

Despite all the challenges, Jouahri promised that Morocco continues to enjoy a “privileged status, both regionally and internationally” under the King’s leadership.

“Genuine action is needed from all vital forces of the country, who are called upon to move beyond the narrow personal and partisan considerations and come together for the interest of the country and its citizens,” Jouahri concluded.

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