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Morocco Economy

    Economy—overview: Morocco faces the problems typical of developing countries—restraining government spending, reducing constraints on private activity and foreign trade, and keeping inflation within manageable bounds. Since the early 1980s the government has pursued an economic program toward these objectives with the support of the IMF, the World Bank, and the Paris Club of creditors. The dirham is now fully convertible for current account transactions; reforms of the financial sector have been implemented; and state enterprises are slowly being privatized. Drought conditions in 1997 depressed activity in the key agricultural sector, holding down exports and contributing to a 2.2% contraction in real GDP. Favorable rainfalls in the fall of 1997 have led to 6.8% real GDP growth in 1998. Growth is forecast to be about 4.0% in 1999. Formidable long-term challenges include: servicing the external debt; preparing the economy for freer trade with the EU; and improving education and attracting foreign investment to improve living standards and job propects for Morocco's youthful population.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$107 billion (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: 6.8% (1998 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$3,200 (1998 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 14%
    industry: 33%
    services: 53% (1997)

    Population below poverty line: 13.1% (1990-91 est.)

    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: 2.8%
    highest 10%: 30.5% (1990-91)

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2%-3% (1998 est.)

    Labor force: 11 million (1997 est.)

    Labor force—by occupation: agriculture 50%, services 26%, industry 15%, other 9% (1985)

    Unemployment rate: 19% (1998 est.)

    Budget:
    revenues: $8.4 billion
    expenditures: $10 billion, including capital expenditures of $1.8 billion (FY97/98 est.)

    Industries: phosphate rock mining and processing, food processing, leather goods, textiles, construction, tourism

    Industrial production growth rate: 4.1% (1997 est.)

    Electricity—production: 11.5 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 95.65%
    hydro: 4.35%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0% (1996)

    Electricity—consumption: 12.52 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 1.02 billion kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: barley, wheat, citrus, wine, vegetables, olives; livestock

    Exports: $7 billion (f.o.b., 1997)

    Exports—commodities: food and beverages 30%, semiprocessed goods 23%, consumer goods 21%, phosphates 17% (1995 est.)

    Exports—partners: EU 63%, Japan 7.7%, India 6.6%, US 3.4%, Libya 3.4% (1996 est.)

    Imports: $10 billion (c.i.f., 1997)

    Imports—commodities: semiprocessed goods 26%, capital goods 25%, food and beverages 18%, fuel and lubricants 15%, consumer goods 12%, raw materials 4% (1995 est.)

    Imports—partners: EU 57%, US 6.6%, Saudi Arabia 5.3%, Brazil 2.8% (1996 est.)

    Debt—external: $20.9 billion (1998 est.)

    Economic aid—recipient: $565.6 million (1995)

    Currency: 1 Moroccan dirham (DH) = 100 centimes

    Exchange rates: Moroccan dirhams (DH) per US$1—9.320 (January 1999), 9.604 (1998), 9.527 (1997), 8.716 (1996), 8.540 (1995), 9.203 (1994)

    Fiscal year: July 1-June 30

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)