September 15, 2014 / 4:44 PM / 5 years ago

Morocco's Jan-Aug trade deficit narrows 3.1 percent

RABAT, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Morocco’s January-to-August trade deficit narrowed by 3.1 percent from a year earlier to 131.06 billion dirhams ($15.25 billion), the foreign exchange regulator said on Monday, as exports increased.

Morocco’s exports rose 7.1 percent to 131.72 billion dirhams (up from 122.97 billion) in the first eight months of 2014, led by the auto, electronic and aviation industries, which surged 32.6 percent, 26.3 percent and 3.7 percent respectively.

The regulator said imports for the first eight months of 2014 totalled 262.79 billion dirhams, up 1.8 percent, from 258.26 billion a year earlier. Energy imports fell 1.4 percent to 66.05 billion dirhams from the same period of 2013.

Wheat imports jumped 32.2 percent to 9.24 billion dirhams compared with the same period last year as the government suspended customs duties and introduced subsidies from the start of January to the end of April to counter rising world prices.

Tourism receipts increased by 3 percent to 40.04 billion dirhams, while remittances from the 4.5 million Moroccans living abroad fell slightly by 0.1 percent to 39.54 billion dirhams. Figures are in billions of dirhams:

Jan-Aug Jan-Aug Jan-July

2014 2013 2014

EXPORTS 131.72 122.97 118.68 IMPORTS 262.79 258.26 234.60 BALANCE -131.06 -135.29 -115.92 MIGRANT REMITTANCES 39.54 39.56 33.16 TOURISM RECEIPTS 40.04 38.87 30.94 FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT 19.79 27.98 17.40

$1 = 8.5948 Moroccan Dirhams Reporting By Aziz El Yaakoubi; Editing by Catherine Evans

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