New government revises Morocco’s growth forecast down to 4.2%
RABAT - The Moroccan government on Thursday announced it had revised its 2012 growth forecast to 4.2 percent, short of the target set by the country's new prime minister when he unveiled his programme last month.
"This growth rate is the result of the international economic situation and the slowdown among partners countries, including in the European Union," Finance Minister Nizar Baraka said ahead of a cabinet meeting in Rabat.
France and Spain, whose economies are stagnating amid a spiralling debt crisis in the eurozone, are Morocco's two main trade partners.
Baraka said that, given the unfavourable economic circumstances, the country's budget would need to be amended.
His government, headed by Islamists, was brought in by elections King Mohammed VI called early to defuse a growing protest movement inspired by the Arab Spring and spurred by high unemployment and consumer prices.
Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane said when he unveiled his reform programme on January 19 that Morocco would achieve growth of 5.5 percent over the next four years.