In a press release issued Friday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced the results of its second review of Morocco’s economic progress under an agreement that extended a two-year Precautionary and Liquidity Line (PLL) to the country. Mr. Min Zhu, IMF Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair of the Board, made the following statement:
“Morocco’s overall economic performance has been strong. Following a slowdown in 2014, growth is expected to pick up in 2015. Policy action has helped reduce fiscal and external vulnerabilities and significant progress has been achieved on reforms. In an environment that remains subject to important downside risks, sustaining the momentum will be important to reduce remaining vulnerabilities and achieve higher and more inclusive growth.
“The arrangement under the Fund’s Precautionary and Liquidity Line (PLL), which the authorities continue to treat as precautionary, has provided insurance against external risks. The program remains on track.
“Fiscal developments have been consistent with the authorities’ objective to reduce the deficit to 4.3 percent of GDP in 2015. Progress continued on the subsidy reform, while support to the most vulnerable has expanded. The recent adoption of a new organic budget strengthens the fiscal framework. The timely adoption of the pension reform will be key to ensure the viability of the system.
“Progress has also been made in upgrading the financial policy framework, including by moving to Basel III standards and implementing the new banking law. An important further step should be the timely adoption of a new central bank law. Ongoing work toward a more flexible exchange rate regime and a new monetary policy framework, in coordination with other macroeconomic and structural policies, is welcome.
“Morocco’s external position has continued to improve owing to strong export performance and lower oil prices. Further progress on structural reforms, including improving the business environment, governance, transparency and the job market will help strengthen competitiveness, growth and employment and enhance the economy’s resilience to shocks.” [full story]