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Morocco’s Central Bank Reserves Rise Amid Signs of Return to Normal

Source : | 6 December 2020 |  Economy | 364 views

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Rabat – Amid Morocco’s efforts to eradicate the COVID-19 pandemic, the central bank’s reserves are showing signs of a return to normalcy. The country’s central bank, Bank Al-Maghrib (BAM), announced that its reserves stood at 291.6 billion MAD ($32.52 billion) by November 27 of this year, up by 18.1% compared to the same period in 2019.In the last week of November, namely between November 26 and December 2, Bank Al-Maghrib injected MAD 103.8 billion ($11.57 billion), the statement noted.Meanwhile, the interbank rate in the same period remained at 1.5%.In terms of the exchange rate, the Moroccan dirham appreciated by 0.65% against the US dollar and depreciated by 0.72% against the Euro.BAM’s announcement adds to the perception of Morocco’s improving economic outlook after nine months of severe pandemic-induced crises. In mid-August, as Morocco entered its first post-lockdown weeks,BAM announcedthat its reserves stood at MAD 278.6 billion ($30.15 billion). The figures represented an increase of 23.8% compared to the same period last year but a net decrease of 0.4% compared to the previous weeks, BAM noted.The bank’s latest announcement also comes as Morocco prepares to smoothly transition to a post-Covid normalcy many economic actors hope will be as close as possible to pre-crisis economic activities and output.In another statement earlier this month, BAM said Morocco’s industrial activities considerably improved in October. The bank predicted a further increase in production and sales for the coming months, noting that the majority of Moroccan industrial companies are confident about their prospects to return to pre-pandemic production output in the next three to six months. Most recently, Morocco’s national COVID-19 vaccination campaign has become an important part of the upbeat conversation surrounding the country’s pandemic prospects in the coming weeks and months.On December 4, after weeks of speculations around Morocco’s national vaccination campaign, Health Minister Khalid Ait Talebfinally unveiledChinese pharmaceutical group Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccine as Morocco’s pick. Ait Taleb noted that health professionals, local authorities, security officers, teachers, and vulnerable segments of the population will be the first beneficiaries of the vaccination campaign. However, he urged all citizens to consider taking the vaccine. The hope, he suggested, is to achieve herd immunity and resume all economic activities. â€œWe need at least 60% of the population to get vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity,†he said.

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