Morocco to see 6.2% growth - Emirates24|7

Morocco to see 6.2% growth

Morocco's economy is likely to grow by 6.2 per cent this year, falling short of a previous forecast of 6.8 per cent, Finance Minister Salaheddine Mezouar said.

"It still remains quite an achievement considering the circumstances," he said in an interview on the sidelines of a meeting of the Islamic Development Bank.

Government statistics show that Morocco's economy grew by 2.2 per cent in 2007. Mezouar also forecast annual inflation in the Kingdom, which imports all its petroleum, to be 2.7 per cent to 2.9 per cent this year, up from an initial projection of two per cent.

A rise in tax receipts would however offset the impact on the country's finances of both the surge in the energy import bill and a public wage increase agreed with unions earlier this year, he said.

"Our initial target for a budget deficit of three per cent will be maintained… Receipts of value-added tax and corporate tax are up 20 per cent… which will generate a surplus in our receipts of Dh15 billion," Mezouar said.

He said Morocco had no plans to enter the international debt market this year and still expected to meet its target budget deficit of three per cent.

"We are in a situation that will allow us to fulfil all our commitments in terms of both investment and financing. Resorting to international markets is not called for," Mezouar added.

Morocco received $800 million (Dh2.9bn) in grants last month from Arab allies Saudi Arabia and the UAE to help it cushion the oil price rise.