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The tourism slump, a threat for the economy

Morocco: The tourism slump, a threat for the economy  
Tourism is the main transmission channel of the Covid-19 pandemic to the Moroccan economy. Activity has been at a  
standstill since March and will remain so until May, at least. The losses will be significant in a sector that contributes to more  
than 8% of GDP, which is the highest level in the region. On a more positive note, two-thirds of the tourist season comes from  
June onwards, which might coincide with the easing of restrictions on travel in some countries even if the recovery of the  
activity would be gradual.  
The slump in tourism activity will weigh on growth and external accounts. The sector accounts for 15% of current account  
receipts. However, external stability does not look under threat. Forex reserves are comfortable and external debt is  
moderate. The fall in global oil prices should also help to keep current account deficit below 5% of GDP. Lastly, Morocco  
could draw on the IMF’s Precautionary and Liquidity Line if necessary.  
Stéphane Alby  
8 April 2020  
QUI SOMMES-NOUS ? Trois équipes d'économistes (économies OCDE, économies émergentes et risque pays, économie bancaire) forment la Direction des Etudes Economiques de BNP Paribas.
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