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Country Forecast Morocco September 2017 Updater

Country Forecast Morocco September 2017 Updater

  • September 2017
  • ID: 2557566
  • Format: PDF
  • By The Economist Intelligence Unit


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  • Social tensions, resulting from high unemployment and unpopular fiscal austerity measures, especially in the northern Rif region, will result in repeated protests. The risk of domestic attacks by Islamist militants persists, and will prompt continued co-operation on counterterrorism with the EU. However, neither of these risks will be sufficiently serious to pose a destabilising threat to the regime.
  • Although constitutional reforms were introduced in 2011 to strengthen the roles of elected officials and to give the judiciary more independence, King Mohammed VI and his advisers will remain the ultimate decision-makers. The influence of the main party in parliament, the Parti de la justice et du développement , will be weaker in the broad coalition government appointed in April. The fragmented political spectrum means that policymaking will be slow.
  • The government will pursue its efforts to upgrade infrastructure, enhance the business environment and improve vocational training in an attempt to boost employment. However, progress will be held back by limited fiscal resources, inefficient bureaucracy and widespread nepotism.
  • Morocco will seek to maintain its favourable trade ties with the EU, its main external partner, although the Western Sahara issue will remain an obstacle to an improvement in relations. The kingdom will also look to strengthen ties with emerging markets, as well as much of Sub-Saharan Africa, in order to boost trade and foreign direct investment inflows.
  • Despite ongoing pressures to spend, the fiscal deficit will narrow gradually over the forecast period, helped by efforts to reduce tax evasion and improve customs and tax administration.
  • The maintenance of subsidies on basic goods such as sugar, wheat and cooking gas will help to keep a lid on overall price growth. Domestic prices will remain vulnerable to short-term spikes related to the quality of the cereal harvest.
  • Real GDP growth will average 3.3% in 2017-21, helped by steady growth in manufacturing and services. Morocco's external performance will remain vulnerable to any renewed turbulence in Europe, its main foreign market, and agricultural exports remain reliant on volatile weather patterns. Morocco will continue to strengthen ties with Sub-Saharan Africa in order to reduce its reliance on trade demand from the EU.

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