March 4, 2019 / 7:37 PM / a year ago

Morocco’s trade deficit widens 8.6 pct yr/yr in January

RABAT, March 4 (Reuters) - Morocco’s trade deficit rose by 8.6 percent to 15.7 billion dirhams ($1.64 billion) in January compared with the same month a year earlier, the foreign exchange regulator said on Monday.

Imports rose 7 percent to 39.5 billion dirhams, outstripping exports of 23.8 billion dirhams, up 5.9 percent.

Foreign direct investments plummeted 30.4 percent to 1.57 billion dirhams while remittances from Moroccans living abroad dropped 9.2 percent to 5.4 billion dirhams.

Morocco’s foreign exchange reserves dropped 3 percent year on year to 227.2 billion dirhams as of Feb.22 - enough to cover five months of import needs - according to central bank data (Reporting by Ahmed Eljechtimi; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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