London-based Al Hayat newspaper reported that Morocco witnessed a sluggish economic growth rate of just 2.2% during the first quarter of this year compared to final quarter of last year which was around 4.7%. The report blamed shortfall in rain, continued eurozone crisis, and a decline in tourist figures and foreign investment flows for the slow down.
Agricultural production dropped 11.7%, while industrial output fell to 2.8% from 5% as a result of a decline in Moroccan exports of garments, mechanical and electronic goods to European markets, Morocco’s main trading partners, the newspaper reported.
The tourism industry’s output also declined 1.6% due to weak demand from European and North American tourists, the newspaper reported.
Agricultural production took a direct hit as a result, resulting 1.9% decline in household consumption. Unemployment also increased 1% increase to overall 10% from about 9% a year ago.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected that Morocco’s economy will slow down to 3.7% this year from last year’s 4.3%. The global financial institution also said that inflation is expected to increase to 2% from 0.9% a year ago.