Rain, Rain, Come Again: Morocco 2017 Growth Surges on Downpour

(Bloomberg) -- Morocco’s economic growth surged to 4.1 percent last year, as heavy rains boosted output in the labor-intensive agricultural sector, the state planning agency said in a preliminary report.

The rise in gross domestic product outstripped an anemic 1.1 percent in 2016, when agricultural output shrank nearly 14 percent as the country endured one of its driest years in three decades. In 2017, output in the key sector rose 15.4 percent.

The figures for 2017 provided a rare bit of good news in a country struggling with rising inflation and protests over the soaring cost of consumer goods. The central bank expects GDP to grow 3.3 percent in 2018, with officials predicting another good year for farmers.

Growth in domestic demand eased to 3.3 percent in 2017 from 5.1 percent a year earlier as a result of what the planning agency called a “deceleration in household consumption spending, coupled with a decline in investment.”

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