Morocco's bumper crop to lead improved growth
A bumper cereal harvest of 6.5 million tons over the 2000/2001 season is expected by Moroccan finance ministry to be catalyst for a resumption of rapid economic growth in 2001.
According to the official MAP news agency, the Moroccan economy is expected to grow by 8.1 percent in 2001. Agriculture accounts for up to 20 percent of GDP and employs of the country's 10 million-strong workforce.
A severe drought that affected the area during the previous harvest season was largely considered responsible for the 0.8 percent fall in gross domestic product reported in 2000. This year, agricultural output is expected to rise by 43 percent.
Speaking to an audience earlier this week, Morocco’s finance minister, Fathallah Oualalou, said that investment would rise by 10 percent to reach 25 percent of GDP in 2001, and national savings would rise from 21.7 percent of GDP in 2000 to 22.3 percent of GDP in 2001.
Inflation, the minister said, should remain about the 2.5 percent level that was set last year, assuming that crude oil prices hold steady at about $25 a barrel. The budget would then stand at about 3 percent of GDP and current account deficit at 1.5 percent of GDP. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)