The growth of the national economy stood at 3.2% in the second quarter of 2023, compared to +3.5% in the previous quarter, according to the High Commissioner for Planning (HCP).
This growth would have been driven by a joint improvement in agricultural value added by 6.3% and non-agricultural activities by 3%, the HCP explained in its economic situation report for the second quarter of 2023 and outlook for the third quarter of 2023.
In this way, it is estimated that agricultural value added would have increased by 6.3% compared to the same quarter of the previous year in the second quarter of 2023, after a fall of 13.5% a year ago, according to the same source. It is noted that plant production would have recovered, driven by the improvement, in base terms, of the harvest of the three main cereals by 61.6% in annual comparison.
Barley production almost doubled, while wheat production increased by 53.6%. Excluding cereals and legumes, crop production, especially beet and sugarcane and seasonal crops, was significantly affected by higher than normal temperatures and low irrigation availability, with a fill rate of 32.1% reservoirs at the end of June 2023.
In particular, potato production would have decreased, leading to a more than fourfold increase in imported quantities in the months of April and May 2023. Exports of seasonal crops would also have decreased by 17% during the same period.
Regarding the animal sector, the HCP indicates that the tensions registered at the beginning of the year would have eased slightly in the second quarter of 2023 in the red meat sector, with an increase in imports of live animals.
The decline in production in the dairy sector would have continued, leading to a 7% increase in milk imports in April and May 2023.
For its part, poultry activity, the main support for animal production in periods of drought, would also have been in decline. Poultry production would have decreased again, leading to a significant increase in consumer prices for chicken meat by 14%.
The continuous increase in the cost of compound feed would have affected the production of chicken meat, which decreased by 6.9% in the months of April and May 2023 in annual comparison.
Regarding non-agricultural activity, commercial services would have maintained their performance, although at a slower pace compared to the beginning of the year, while secondary branches, affected by the weak dynamics of external demand for goods, would have experienced a decrease of 0.7% in its added value during the same period.
The added value of extractive industries would have decreased by 8.6% in the second quarter of 2023 in annual comparison. This decrease would have been attributed to the continuous reduction in the production of non-metallic minerals in line with the contraction of their exported quantities, the continuous movement of stock reduction and the continuous increase in their sales prices.
As for sales to local processing industries, they would have declined in the second quarter of 2023. Major fertilizer importers would have been cautious in strengthening their supplies due to possible steeper declines in global fertilizer prices, especially after of the resumption of Chinese exports.
Activity in the construction sector (building and public works) would also have continued to decline at a rate of 1.8% in the second quarter of 2023.
Public works activity would have increased for the third consecutive quarter, as demonstrated by the statements of businessmen who are broadly optimistic about the prospects for civil engineering works, says the HCP. It adds that housing production, in a phase of conjunctural decline, would have continued to suffer from the weak dynamics of household credit demand and the effects derived from the increase in interest rates and prices.
The manufacturing industry, for its part, would have maintained a moderate growth rate, close to 1.1% in the second quarter of 2023.
In the tertiary sector, the added value of hospitality and restaurants would have increased by 39.2% in annual comparison, almost recovering its 2019 level. Tourist arrivals at border posts would have increased by 58% in the months of April and May in 2023, in annual comparison, reaching 2.2 million, and tourist overnight stays would have increased by 81%.
Earnings from tourism would also have followed the same trend, with an increase of 44% in annual comparison, reaching 15.7 billion dirhams (MMDH). The growth of the telecommunications and real estate sectors would have decreased due to a slowdown in the consumption of these services by households.