There is a growing disconnect between Moroccan growth forecasts vs. global and European ones. Global growth is expected to disappoint again at +2.4% in 2020, down from +2.5% in 2019 and +3.1% in 2018, as a result of trade and political uncertainties on the path to the U.S. presidential elections. World trade growth should stay weak and Eurozone growth should stall at about +1% in 2020. Against this background, official expectations (in Morocco or from international institutions) point towards a steady recovery in Morocco, with about +3.5% growth in 2020 (after a likely +2.4% in 2019). However, we expect only +2% in 2020. A subdued international environment is one aspect, and the domestic environment should also not be that conducive since insolvencies are growing again after a pause in 2018: +7% is expected in 2019 and +5% in 2020. It means that Moroccan reforms (up +15 positions in the Doing Business survey over the past two years) are not comprehensive enough: it’s easier to start a business now, but bad payment terms make cash needs high enough to nurture rising insolvencies and lost growth opportunities.
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Stéphane ColliacSenior Economist for France and Africa