Morocco's central bank predicts higher growth of 5 per cent in 2015 amid lower energy costs

RABAT, Morocco – Morocco’s central bank predicts the country’s economy will grow 5 per cent in 2015 amid a string of positive indicators boosted by lower oil prices.

The quarterly report by the Bank Al-Maghreb released Tuesday said growth would be buoyed by a strong agricultural season, increased industrial output and a 45 per cent drop in energy spending.

Growth was just 2.5 per cent in 2014. Oil prices dropped by half in the past six months. Morocco imports most of its energy.

The current account deficit is predicted to drop from 5.9 per cent of gross domestic product to 4 per cent in 2015.

Morocco’s Islamist-led government has pursued austerity programs since coming to power in 2012, freezing hiring, cutting sensitive fuel subsidies and spending.

The previous government incurred high debt after increasing spending in 2011.