The Moroccan Economy in Brief: Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Automotive sector: Moroccan exports rise by nearly 39% in Q1-2021:
Exports of the automotive sector reached more than MAD 22.6 billion in the first quarter of 2021, up 38.9% compared to the end of March 2020, according to the Office des Changes. This development is explained, mainly, by the increase in sales of the construction segment (51.9%) and those of the wiring segment (23.4%), said the Office in its bulletin on foreign trade indicators of March 2021. In addition, the bulletin highlights that exports of phosphates and derivatives have increased by 21.7% to MAD 13.4 billion, mainly due to the increase in sales of phosphoric acid (MAD +1.5 billion) and those of natural and chemical fertilizers of MAD 879 million.

41.8% increase in remittances by Moroccans living abroad in Q1-2021:
Remittances made by Moroccans living abroad (MRE) increased by 41.8% in the first three months of this year, according to the Office des Changes. These transfers were thus established at more than MAD 20.89 billion at the end of last March against MAD 14.73 billion during the same period a year earlier, says the Office in its recent bulletin on foreign trade indicators. This bulletin also indicates that the balance of trade in services shows a surplus down 48.9% to MAD 11,457 million in the first quarter of this year, following the decline in exports more accentuated than that of imports.

Morocco "performing" and "regular" in the attractiveness indices:
Morocco continues to perform well and consistently in the attractiveness and stability indices, particularly with respect to the banking system and macroeconomic framework, according to the Amadeus Institute's Africa Stability and Attractiveness Index 2021 report. Macroeconomic fundamentals have proven resilient, with inflation under control and foreign exchange reserves at a satisfactory, albeit stressed, level, according to the report, which was prepared with support from the Casablanca Finance City Authority.

Construction and public works create 39,000 jobs in Morocco in one year:
The sector of buildings and public works (BTP) has created a total of 39,000 jobs, at the national level, between the first quarter of 2020 and that of 2021, recording an increase of 3.4%, according to the High Commission for Planning (HCP). This development is the result of the creation of 38,000 jobs in urban areas and 1,000 in rural areas in this sector, said the HCP in its briefing note on the labor market situation in Q1-2021. Regarding the sector of "agriculture, forestry and fisheries", it has lost 231,000 jobs (-6.4%), following a decline of 254,000 in rural areas and an increase of 23,000 in urban areas, said the same source. The said note also highlights that the sector of "industry including crafts" has declined by 48,000 jobs (25,000 in urban and 23,000 in rural), which corresponds to a decline of 3.6% of the volume of employment in this sector. The share of craft activities in the industry sector is 43.7% against 47.4% in the first quarter of 2020.

The Tanger Med industrial hub welcomed 95 new projects in 2020:
The Tanger Med industrial platform closed the year 2020 with 95 new industrial projects. According to the Q1-2021 newsletter of the Tanger Med Group, these projects represent private investments of MAD 2.6 billion, which have generated 7,458 new jobs. These include the French group Valor, European leader in the field of mechanical parts, the Japanese group Nippon Express, specializing in logistics and assembly of automotive parts, Emirates Logistics, a subsidiary of Sharaf Group and a pioneer in the provision of freight and logistics solutions, and the German group Stahlschmidt, specializing in automotive wiring systems.