Morocco's economy is set to grow quicker than previously thought thanks to a strong vaccine rollout and a resurgent agricultural sector, according to research company Capital Economics.
Analysis by the firm predicts the North African country will see higher-than-anticipated GDP growth over 2021-23, with a 9 percent expansion this year, followed by a rise of 3.8-4 percent in 2022-23.
This would leave GDP around 10 percent above its pre-pandemic level by end-2023, although still around 2 percent below its pre-virus trend.
Jason Tuvey, senior emerging markets economist at Capital Economics, praised Morocco's COVID-19 vaccination programme for contributing towards the economic optimism, saying it "has been the strongest in the region outside of the Gulf and far ahead of many other countries on the African continent, with close to 50 percent of the population has now received at least one vaccine dose."
Another bonus has come from improved weather conditions which have helped the agricultural sector bounce back from a disastrous 2020, when wheat output fell 36 percent to its lowest level since 2007.
Tuvey warned that one potential headwind for Morocco could come from the tourism sector, which directly accounts for 8 percent of the country's GDP.
He said: "Travel restrictions imposed by the UK and the EU – two key sources of tourists – on Morocco mean that the tourist arrivals were depressed during the peak summer months for a second year running.
"The hope is that further progress with Morocco’s vaccination programme will persuade policymakers in other parts of the world to ease travel restrictions to the country."