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CARMEN M. REINHART

Devaluation is an integral part of adjustment in many developing countries, particularly relied upon by countries facing large external imbalances. A devaluation can only reduce trade imbalances if it translates to a real devaluation and if trade flows respond to relative prices in a significant and predictable manner. However, a recent strand in the empirical trade literature has questioned the existence of a stable relationship between trade flows and its traditional determinants, This paper re–examines the relationship between relative prices and imports and exports in a sample of 12 developing countries.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that Morocco has made important strides in maintaining macroeconomic stability in a difficult environment, but challenges remain to reduce fiscal and external vulnerabilities, strengthen growth, create jobs, and tackle poverty. Growth slowed in 2014 as a result of a contraction in agricultural activity following an exceptional 2013 crop and weak demand from Europe. However, growth is expected to rebound in 2015 to about 4.4 percent and remain robust in the medium term as external demand and domestic confidence strengthen. Executive Directors have commended the authorities for their strong policy actions, which have reduced economic vulnerabilities.

International Monetary Fund
Morocco’s strong starting position, reflecting macroeconomic and structural reforms introduced over the last decade, has given the country greater room to maneuver in its policy response. The direct impact of the global crisis on Morocco has been limited, primarily affecting Morocco through real channels. Exports, tourism receipts, remittances, and foreign direct investment (FDI) have all declined primarily owing to the slowdown in Europe. In particular, Morocco has low public debt and low inflation, and the financial system is sound, with little exposure to international markets.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper discusses two selected issues related to the economy of Morocco: fiscal multipliers and efficiency of public spending on education in Morocco. Because of the several exogenous shocks to the economic condition of Morocco, interest in estimating the size of the fiscal multiplier has increased in recent past. To better understand the size of the fiscal multiplier, it may be necessary to better comprehend the relationship between key macroeconomic variables in both the short and long run. Despite spending substantially on education in compared to other countries, youth unemployment in Morocco is high. This paper aims to help tackle youth unemployment by focusing on the efficiency of public spending on education.
Mr. Marco Marini
Benchmarking methods can be used to extrapolate (or “nowcast”) low-frequency benchmarks on the basis of available high-frequency indicators. Quarterly national accounts are a typical example, where a number of monthly and quarterly indicators of economic activity are used to calculate preliminary annual estimates of GDP. Using both simulated and real-life national accounts data, this paper aims at assessing the prediction accuracy of three benchmarking methods widely used in the national accounts compilation: the proportional Denton method, the proportional Cholette-Dagum method with first-order autoregressive error, and the regression-based Chow-Lin method. The results show that the Cholette-Dagum method provides the most accurate extrapolations when the indicator and the annual benchmarks move along the same trend. However, the Denton and Chow-Lin methods could prevail in real-life cases when the quarterly indicator temporarily deviates from the target series.
Tarik Yousef and Mr. Hassan Al-Atrash
This paper estimates a gravity model to address the issue of whether intra-Arab trade is too little. Although gravity models have been extensively used to measure bilateral trade among countries, they have—to the best of our knowledge—never been used to measure intra-Arab trade. Our results suggest that intra-Arab trade and Arab trade with the rest of the world are lower than what would be predicted by the gravity equation, suggesting considerable scope for regional—as well as multilateral—integration. The results also suggest that intra-GCC and intra-Maghreb trade are relatively low while the Mashreq countries exhibit a higher level of intragroup trade.
International Monetary Fund

Morocco’s strong starting position, reflecting macroeconomic and structural reforms introduced over the last decade, has given the country greater room to maneuver in its policy response. The direct impact of the global crisis on Morocco has been limited, primarily affecting Morocco through real channels. Exports, tourism receipts, remittances, and foreign direct investment (FDI) have all declined primarily owing to the slowdown in Europe. In particular, Morocco has low public debt and low inflation, and the financial system is sound, with little exposure to international markets.

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper analyzes the recent developments in the Moroccan economy and its policy challenges over the medium term. It assesses the sustainability of public debt in Morocco. The paper uses the analytical framework for assessing debt sustainability in emerging market countries endorsed by the IMF Executive Board and compares Morocco’s vulnerabilities with those of the average emerging market country. The paper also examines the effects on Morocco’s trade pattern of the ongoing integration with the European Union within the Barcelona process.