March 5, 2020 / 1:27 PM / a month ago

Morocco's Jan trade deficit widens 1.7% y/y

RABAT, March 5 (Reuters) - Morocco’s trade deficit widened by 1.7% to 16.4 billion dirhams ($1.7 billion) in January compared with a year earlier, the foreign exchange regulator said on Thursday.

Total imports grew 1.4% to 40.7 billion dirhams, outstripping exports of 24.3 billion dirhams, which rose 1.2%.

Foreign direct investments dived 32% to 1.4 billion dirhams, while remittances from Moroccans living abroad dropped 2.8% to 5.62 billion dirhams - both are significant factors for the flow of hard currency into the country.

Morocco’s foreign exchange reserves edged up 0.3% to 241 billion dirhams by the end of February, enough to cover five months of imports, according to the central bank. (Reporting by Ahmed Eljechtimi, editing by Angus McDowall and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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