CDG webinar: 2023 a year of uncertainty

“How does 2023 look like?” was the theme at the heart of the debates during a webinar of the CDG Group Institute, the seventh of its kind this year which was organized on Tuesday, November 22, 2022.

The meeting attended by eminent personalities, Fatima Ezzahra El Mansouri Head of Portfolio Management, Finance Division – CDG, Karim El Mokri is an Economist and researcher, Taoufik Abbad Head of the Macroeconomic Synthesis Division at the Department of Studies and Financial Forecasts (DEPF) from the Moroccan Ministry of Economy and Finance and Javier Diaz-Cassou, World Bank Principal Economist for Morocco, was moderated by Aziz Boucetta, publication director of the information portal

The very interesting exchanges, moreover, focused on reflections on the challenges of the global economy in general and ours in particular. The world economy disrupted by Dame Covid, the Ukrainian conflict and its direct repercussions on energy and food products with inflationary consequences, monetary policies and others…

At the national level, in addition to suffering these tensions, the fate has dogged the country through internal shocks, including the current drought like never before, has had a strong impact on the smooth running that characterized the national economy, particularly on the harvest. agriculture and cereals in particular.

In order to ensure the sustainability of the structural reforms undertaken by the Kingdom, the Executive in its 2023 finance bill has set four ambitious priorities which have been adopted by the House of Representatives, namely the strengthening of the social state, the revival of the national economy, the consecration of territorial and spatial justice through the strengthening of regionalization and, finally, the restoration of budgetary margins.

To the question 2023 year of respite or spite? It was Taoufik Abbad Head of the Macroeconomic Synthesis Division who opened these debates saying: ” We are in a period of very low certainty and even in a normal context, the exercise of making forecasts is difficult and with the succession of shocks it is even more so. We are witnessing increasingly short growth cycles with large-scale recessions and therefore without any visibility. Now to decide on 2023, we can say that Morocco is facing an unfavorable and unfavorable international context with the drought, which disturbs the growth trajectory of the national economy a little. “.

However, the DEPF official remarked, “what is good is that the growth range established by the various national and international organizations varies between 3.1% and 4.5% and the government is counting on 3 .5% to 4% according to the Finance Law”.

Javier Diaz-Cassou (Senior Economist, World Bank Group) Senior Economist of the World Bank was also pessimistic about a projection for 2023.Unfortunately, with these multiplicity of shocks which are affecting Morocco and the other countries of the world, it is impossible to plan for the future. On the side of the World Bank, we have a growth range for Morocco between 3.5% and 3.8%. This is a projection that takes into account the increase in fourteen of the key rate of the WB, inflationary effects on consumption », will he say

And to add“I would like to point out that there are other factors that can reduce growth below this figure, such as the performance of the agricultural sector, for which we expect average production in 2023. In the event that the drought persists, this is of the order of a growth of 2.5% that it would be “.

But for all that, Javier Diaz-Cassou will be confident about the future after the 2023 projection for several reasons: “The Moroccan economy has very important assets. Its resilience is the main argument, with a macroeconomic policy that is very solid, with institutions in charge of macro policy that are also very solid, a Central Bank that I think is admirable, with a Ministry of Economy and Finance that prioritizes the maintenance of macro balances in the medium term, we continue to believe through this, that the Moroccan economy will continue to grow above the world level “.

For the Economist and researcher, Karim El Mokri, the year 2023 will be quite delicate. He backs up his claim by saying that “ it will not be a year of respite but rather a year of hard work precisely to avoid finding oneself at the end of the course in a situation of spite. 2023 is an exceptional year because it comes after three years of successive shocks (Covid crisis, drought conflict in Ukraine, etc.) so it presents itself with a lot of uncertainty with regard to the national and international context. There is a lack of visibility, whether for political decision-makers or for economic investors, but also citizens”.

Looking ahead to 2023, Karim Mokri will say: “ It will be a year of arbitration and economic policy mix at all levels. For example at the level of monetary policy, arbitration between price stability and at the same time avoiding breaking the pace of recovery. For public finances, arbitration between the strengthening of the social State and budgetary margins and balances, arbitration between recovery through investment and reconstituting fiscal resources”.

For her part, Fatima Ezzahra El Mansouri Head of Portfolio Management, Finance Division – CDG, indicated that “ the year 2022 was exceptional for its unprecedented things, a high interest rate situation, a very restrictive monetary policy situation, which we had not seen for more than a decade. The markets plunged into an unprecedented situation and lived in situations of very low or even negative interest rates. Today there is a shift in monetary policy and there has been a lot of volatility this year because the markets don’t really like the lack of visibility “.

“Central banks, at least in Europe, hesitated for a long time before raising their rates. But it must be said that worse is behind us. The Covid crisis has created a lot of problems economically and in the markets as well. It must also be said that Morocco’s aggregates are solid with a rating that is stable and for an emerging country these are very positive macroeconomic aggregates and we manage to reduce the budget deficit to below 5%. With these elements, this suggests a year 2023, at least in terms of the markets, which I hope will bring stability and opportunities to our economy.”added the manager.

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