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Economic Outlook in Morocco: A Nation Grapples with Financial Pressure

Saturday 15 June 2024 - 09:45
Economic Outlook in Morocco: A Nation Grapples with Financial Pressure

Survey Attributes Lingering Financial Strain to Post-Pandemic Challenges

In a recent survey conducted by the Arab Barometer, only one-third of Moroccans expressed optimism about their country's economic situation. The survey, which took place from December 2023 to January 2024, highlights the enduring financial pressures that have persisted four years after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

The comprehensive survey included 2,411 randomly selected citizens from various regions of Morocco. The findings reveal that a mere 33% of respondents rated the Moroccan economy as very good or good. This figure is unchanged from 2022 and marks a significant decline from 2016, when 66% of Moroccans viewed the economy positively.

Socioeconomic Disparities in Economic Perceptions

The survey results underscore stark disparities in economic perceptions based on socioeconomic status (SES) and education. More than half (51%) of Moroccans who can cover their expenses view the economy favorably, compared to only 18% of those struggling financially. Education further widens this gap, with 47% of college-educated individuals rating the economy positively, compared to 28% of those with less education.

Rising Optimism for the Future

Despite the current economic dissatisfaction, Moroccans show a notable increase in optimism about the future. Approximately half of the respondents believe the economy will improve, with 14% expecting it to be much better and 35% somewhat better in the coming years. This optimism has risen by seven points from 2022 and by 19 points from 2018. However, this hopeful outlook is more prevalent among those who are financially stable (64%) compared to those who are not (38%).

Growing Economic Inequality and Food Insecurity

Economic inequality remains a pressing concern, with 39% of Moroccans feeling that the wealth gap has widened since last year. This perception is particularly pronounced among those who cannot cover their expenses (49%), compared to their better-off counterparts (25%).

Food insecurity has surged alarmingly, with nearly two-thirds (63%) of Moroccans reporting that they ran out of food and lacked the money to buy more in the past 30 days. This is a dramatic increase from 36% in 2022. More than half of the respondents (57%) identified food availability as a significant problem, while 59% were concerned about food affordability.

Attributing Economic Hardships

Moroccans attribute their economic hardships to a mix of domestic and global factors. Of those surveyed, 28% cited government mismanagement as the main factor, while 17% pointed to inflation, and only 8% blamed wealth inequality. Additionally, 16% of respondents attributed food insecurity to global issues like climate change, and 12% cited the war in Ukraine as a contributing factor.

Divided Opinions on Government Actions

Moroccans are divided in their assessments of government actions to address economic issues. Less than 30% believe the government should focus on limiting inflation, while 20% prioritize job creation, and 14% advocate for education reform.

As Morocco navigates these challenging economic times, the nation remains split on the path forward, yet a significant portion of the population holds onto a cautious optimism for the future.

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