Morocco : King Mohammed VI receives Wali of Bank Al-Maghrib

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King Mohammed VI and the central bank's governor. / DR

King Mohammed VI received on Wednesday at the Royal Palace in Tetouan, Abdellatif Jouahri, Wali (governor) of Bank Al-Maghrib, who presented to the Sovereign the annual report of the Central Bank on the economic, monetary and financial situation for the fiscal year 2019.

In his address before the King, Jouahri indicated that due to a generally adverse external environment and poor weather conditions, domestic economic growth decelerated to 2.5 percent. However, unemployment rate declined to 9.2 percent, following the creation of a significant number of jobs in the services sector.

Concerning macroeconomic balances, Jouahri pointed out that the budget deficit widened to 4.1 percent of GDP, while the current account deficit improved to 4.1 percent. Inflows of foreign direct investments reached 33.5 billion dirhams and official reserve assets amounted to the equivalent of 6 months and 8 days of imports, he said.

Inflation decelerated sharply to 0.2 percent, mainly reflecting lower food and fuel prices, according to Jouahri.

Bank Al-Maghrib maintained the accommodative stance of its monetary policy by broadening its unconventional measures and reducing the monetary reserve rate to 2 percent, contributing to lower interest rates and accelerated bank lending, said the Wali of the central bank.

Jouahri stressed that the year has been particularly marked by the momentum generated by the King's call to support and finance SMEs, young entrepreneurs and graduates.

Responding to this call, the government and Bank Al-Maghrib, alongside the banking system, drew up an ambitious program focused mainly on creating new guarantee funds. The Bank eased the prudential rules and introduced a limitless refinancing mechanism at a preferential rate of 1.25 percent.

With regard to the foreign exchange market reform, the Wali noted that the first phase progressed well, thereby paving the way for the authorities to launch the second phase of the process.

The Wali of Bank Al-Maghrib pointed that the review of the year 2019, which marks the end of an entire decade, reveals that despite Morocco's strengthened external positioning owing to its stability, its internal performance remains insufficient.

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