The preliminary figures of the foreign trade bureau, as of the end of March 2000, show that there was an 11.7 percent increase in Morocco's foreign transactions mainly caused by a 17.5 percent jump in the Kingdom's imports. Exports expanded by a mere 3.8 percent.
The enlarging Moroccan trade deficit has expanded by 55.1 percent compared to the corresponding period in the previous year, according to the North Africa Journal. While tourism receipts grew positively by 19.5 percent, the remittances of Moroccan expatriates grew by 7.2 percent.
The oil price increases on the world market fueled Morocco's import bill increase, spurring a reduction of its cover ratio to 64.8 percent, contrasting a 73.3 percent level over the equivalent period of last year. The Kingdom's foreign private loans and investment suffered a 2.8 percent decline, while foreign exchange reserves grew by 30.4 percent over the first quarter 2000, compared to the same 1999 period. Forex reserves currently represent the equivalent of 47 months of import activity.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )