Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Morocco maintains rate, cuts reserve ratio by 200 bps

    Morocco's central bank maintained its policy rate at 3.0 percent, unchanged since March 2012, saying inflation was forecast to remain consistent with the medium-term price stability objective and the balance of risks were broadly neutral.
    But the Bank of Morocco cut the required reserve ratio by 2 percentage points to 2.0 percent due to "the persistently significant liquidity shortage in the money market."
    Morocco's inflation rate fell to 0.4 percent in February from 0.5 percent in January and averaged 1.0 percent in the fourth quarter. Core inflation was stable at 1.3 percent in the first two months of the year.
    In 2014 inflation is expected to average 1.8 percent and then 2.3 percent at the end of the forecast horizon in the second quarter of 2015 for a 2.0 percent average over this time, the central bank said.
    Morocco's Gross Domestic Product expanded by an annual 4.5 percent in the third quarter, down from 5.1 percent in the second quarter and the central bank said growth would range between 4.5 and 5.0 percent in 2013, declining to between 2.5 and 3.5 percent in 2014.


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