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World Bank predicts 4% growth for Morocco in 2021

The World Bank (WB) forecasts a 4% growth of the Moroccan economy in 2021 thanks to the increase in agricultural production at the end of the drought and the easing of containment measures.

“Morocco should return to growth of 4% in 2021 thanks to the increase in agricultural production at the end of the drought period and the relief by the State of containment measures”, indicates the latest report from the World Bank on the January World Economic Outlook for countries in the Middle East and North Africa region. The Moroccan economy is expected to contract by -6.3% in 2020 according to estimates by the World Bank, which also forecasts economic growth in Morocco of around 3.7% in 2022.

The WB reports that economic activity in the Middle East and North Africa is projected to show a “modest recovery” of 2.1% in 2021, “due to the persistent damage caused by the pandemic and low oil prices”.

These prospects count on the control of the pandemic, the stabilization of oil prices, the absence of any escalation of geopolitical tensions and the deployment of anti-COVID vaccines in the second half of the year. According to projections based on the assumption that the situation will improve over a two-year period, in 2022, economic output will be still 8% below the level indicated by estimates made before the pandemic, notes the World Bank.

The growth rate of oil-importing countries is expected to reach 3.2 percent in 2021 due to the gradual easing of travel restrictions and the slow recovery in domestic demand, notes the Washington-based institution, noting that However, it is only expected to be 2.7% for 2021 in Egypt following the collapse of the tourism and gas extraction sectors and the slowdown in other important sectors such as manufacturing.

As for the oil-exporting countries, their growth rate is expected to reach 1.8% this year, “thanks to the normalization of oil demand, the expected easing of OPEC + oil production quotas, the continuation of accompanying policies and the gradual elimination of restrictions imposed by countries due to the pandemic”, indicates the Bretton Woods institution.

The World Bank warns that “the downside risks are preponderant and linked to the trajectory of the pandemic and its social repercussions, downward pressures on oil prices, national political uncertainties and geopolitical tensions.”

Lower oil prices, excessive volatility or prolonged OPEC + oil production cuts would hamper the growth of emerging oil-exporting countries and developing countries in the region, it is pointed out.

For their part, oil importers could also suffer from lower oil prices as a result of squeezing remittances and foreign direct investment from oil-exporting countries in the region, the report concludes.

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