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The World Bank predicts 3.2% growth in Morocco in 2022

The Moroccan economy is expected to grow by 3.2% in 2022, according to World Bank forecasts released on Tuesday. In an update to its “World Economic Outlook”, the international financial institution says Morocco’s economic growth rate will reach 3.2 percent this year due to the slowdown in agricultural production.

For 2021, the Kingdom’s GDP had increased by 5.3%, after a contraction of -6.3% in 2020, recalls the same source. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region experienced a “strong economic recovery” in the second half of 2021 and production rose to its pre-COVID level in several countries, says Bretton Woods institution, noting that economic performance has been uneven across the region, depending on the severity and effects of the pandemic.

At the global level, growth is expected to slow significantly to 4.1% in 2022 and 3.2% in 2023, against 5.5% in 2021, due to the slowing of the catch-up in demand and the withdrawal of fiscal and monetary support measures, said the same source. As contact-intensive sectors recover and oil production cuts fade, coupled with accommodative policies, growth in the MENA region is expected to accelerate to 4.4% in 2022, or more than the rate expected in June 2021, before slowing down to 3.4% in 2023, say experts from the Washington-based institution.

The gap in average per capita income between countries in the region and advanced countries is expected to widen over the forecast period, further argue the authors of the report, in the section dedicated to the MENA region.

Rising oil and natural gas prices and increased production should benefit energy exporters, it is said that the near-term outlook has also improved for crude importers.

“The new COVID-19 outbreaks, social unrest, high debt levels in some countries and conflicts could dampen economic activity in the MENA region,” the World Bank said nonetheless.

With less than two-fifths of the fully immunized population in the region (and mostly concentrated in high-income countries), the economic disruption associated with the pandemic remains a “major risk”, it adds.

Likewise, fluctuations in oil prices could weaken activity in the region, causing losers and winners for oil importers and exporters, as the case may be.

Underinvestment in the sector could prevent exporting countries from taking advantage of high oil prices, warn the authors of the document, noting that the rapid spread of the Omicron variant could dampen global demand and lead to lower oil prices.

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