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The Planning Commission in Morocco expects the economy to grow by 4.6% in 2021

Morocco's High Planning Commission said today, Thursday, that economic growth is expected to increase by 4.6 percent in 2021, after it contracted by seven percent last year, in light of the dual impact of the Coronavirus pandemic and drought.

She added in a report that this forecast is based on assumptions of improved external and domestic demand, in addition to an average cereal yield of 7.5 million tons.

The recent torrential rains bode well for agricultural production this year as dams are refilled after two consecutive years of drought that has undermined farm production.

Lower tax revenues and increased support to mitigate the impact of the pandemic have pushed Morocco's fiscal deficit to 7.4 percent in 2020, more than twice the target deficit ratio of 3.5 percent of GDP. The deficit is expected to narrow to 6 percent of GDP this year as tax and non-tax revenues rise.

However, public debt is expected to rise to 95.6 percent of GDP in 2021 due to external borrowing, while the current account deficit is expected to increase to 3.3 percent of GDP, as imports continue to exceed exports.

Last year, Morocco withdrew $ 3 billion from an International Monetary Fund liquidity pipeline, tapped bond markets twice, raising one billion euros ($ 1.22 billion) in September and $ 3 billion in December.

This helped offset the impact of declining hard currency inflows as a result of shrinking tourism receipts by 55 percent in 2020 and declining foreign direct investment.

The High Planning Commission said that inflation is expected to rise to 1.1 percent in 2021 from 0.1 percent in 2020, while the unemployment rate may reach 11.1 percent in 2021 from 12.8 percent in 2020.

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