Morocco CB keeps rates un­changed

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

RA­BAT: Morocco’s cen­tral bank said yes­ter­day eco­nomic growth would jump to 4.2 per­cent next year from an es­ti­mated 1.2 per­cent in 2016 on the back of sharply ris­ing agri­cul­tural out­put.

It made the bullish pro­jec­tions as it kept its bench­mark in­ter­est rate un­changed at 2.25 per­cent.

Ab­nor­mally dry weather across North Africa slashed the ce­real har­vest last sea­son to 3.35 mil­lion tons, down 70 per­cent from the pre­vi­ous record 11 mil­lion tons. Last year’s drought was the worst in 30 years, the gov­ern­ment said. But early sea­son rain­fall this year is up 22 per­cent from a nor­mal year and 107 per­cent up from last year.

The bank, known as Bank al-Maghrib, re­vis­ing down this year’s over­all growth es­ti­mates from 1.4 per­cent. It low­ered its key rate to 2.25 per­cent from 2.5 per­cent in March, its first cut in more than a year, to sup­port the econ­omy, in which agriculture ac­counts for more than 15 per­cent. The bank said it ex­pected in­fla­tion to re­main around 1.6 per­cent in 2016 and fall to 1 per­cent in 2017. Based on an av­er­age global oil price of $43.1 a bar­rel, the cur­rent ac­count deficit should reach 2.8 per­cent of gross do­mes­tic prod­uct in 2016, slightly higher than ex­pected, and 2.1 per­cent in 2017. — Reuters

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.