According to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Morocco's gross domestic product (GDP) growth is expected to reach 3.1% this year, confirming its May forecasts. This figure represents a significant increase compared to 2022, when only a growth rate of 1.3% was recorded due to the effects of the drought.
According to a report by the European institution on regional economic prospects, Moroccan economic growth in 2023 has been supported by "better harvests, a boom in tourism, a slowdown in inflation and a recovery in domestic demand".
As a result of all these positive factors, unemployment in the country has declined slightly during the second quarter of 2023, now standing at 12.4% with higher rates among women (17%), youth (33.6%) and in urban areas (16.3%).
The EBRD highlights measures taken by the Moroccan government, such as the decision to increase social spending in 2022 and 2023 thanks to better tax and non-tax revenue collection. The agency points out that the budget deficit should continue to contract, from 5.1% of GDP in 2022 to 4.9% in 2023.
Looking ahead to next year, the EBRD says growth should hover around 3% and return to pre-pandemic levels in the medium term, with the acceleration of reforms likely to further improve this outlook.
Improving weather conditions, falling inflation, the relative recovery of domestic and external demand and increased investor confidence due to Morocco's removal from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) grey list should positively affect economic activity, the report argues.
The EBRD publishes the regional economic outlook at least twice a year. The report contains a summary of regional economic developments, as well as the bank's growth forecasts for the economies in which it invests.
However, these forecasts do not incorporate the effects of the earthquake that hit the Kingdom in early September in the High Atlas Mountains near Marrakech. "The impact on overall economic activity remains difficult to estimate at this stage; while reconstruction spending could provide a boost to growth in the medium term, it could also increase the need for financing," explains the EBRD.
These forecasts come shortly after the financial institution announced a €34.5 million loan to the Dislog Group, a leading manufacturer and distributor of pharmaceutical and hygiene products in Morocco.