Morocco to boost investment with 2010 budget
Rabat, October 27, 2009
Morocco's draft 2010 budget includes a 20 per cent boost in public investment to bolster domestic consumption and resist the global economic downturn.
The government expects the economy to grow 3.5 per cent next year, compared to 5.3 per cent this year when a record grain harvest boosted farm incomes and domestic consumption, and 5.6 per cent in 2008. Non-farm economic growth is expected to fall to 2.7 per cent this year from 4.2 per cent in 2008.
The current account deficit is expected to fall to 4 per cent in 2009 from 5.2 per cent in 2008, and remain steady at 4-4.5 per cent in 2010.
The government is forecasting inflation of 2 per cent next year and the same this year, down from 3.9 per cent in 2008.
It sees a 2009 budget deficit of 2.7 per cent, updated from an earlier forecast of 2.9 per cent of GDP. It expects the budget deficit to widen to 4 per cent in 2010.
A 0.4 per cent decline in fiscal income to MD148.6 billion is forecast, partly due to income tax and corporate tax cuts.
Public works spending is seen growing 20 per cent next year to MD162.6 billion ($21.45 billion). State investment is seen up 19 per cent at MD53.8 billion.
An expansion of Jorf Lasfar power station, wind farms in Tangier and Tarfaya, a combined-cycle power station at Ain Beni Mathar and a gas-fired power station at Kenitra, adding a combined 1,200 MW of power are among plans to increase power.
State water utility Onep will boost spending to MD4.1 billion from 3.3 billion to add dams and water treatment plants.
Agriculture upgrades worth MD5.2 billion are planned for next year, and fisheries projects worth MD570 million.
Industrial zones and business parks have been allocated MD1.95 billion.
The justice system will see its budget grow by 36 per cent to MD3.2 billion to help push through reforms.
Education budget to grow to MD51 billion in 2010 from 46 billion in 2009. – Reuters