Morocco’s Ministry of Economy, Finance, and Administrative Reform announced Thursday that the budget deficit reached MAD 42.8 billion ($4.65 billion), compared to MAD 28.5 billion ($3.1 billion) the same period of last year.

The figures came in the ministry’s report on the situation of Morocco’s treasury at the end of September, published Thursday.

Compared to August, the deficit reflects an improvement of MAD 3.7 billion ($0.4 billion), largely due to a MAD 6.7 billion ($0.73 billion) improvement of the ordinary balance.

The surplus that Morocco’s Special Fund for the Management and Response to COVID-19 improved the deficit by approximately MAD 10 billion ($1.4 billion) by the end of September. 

King Mohammed VI ordered the creation of the fund in mid-March to boost Morocco’s health system and counter the consequences of the pandemic on the country’s economy and social sphere. Between its initial value of MAD 10 billion ($1 billion) and contributions from public and private sector institutions and individuals, it amassed over MAD 33.7 billion ($39.6 billion).

Without factoring in the fund’s impact, the deficit amounts to nearly MAD 50.8 billion ($5.52 billion), an increase of almost MAD 22.3 billion ($2.4 billion) compared to the same period in 2019.

Morocco’s ordinary revenue and expenditures show a negative ordinary balance of nearly MAD 9.3 billion ($1.01 billion), according to the ministry, compared to MAD 16 billion ($1.74 billion) at the end of August.

The data shows the rate of realization of ordinary revenues stood at 74.7% of the amended finance law’s forecast, representing an increase of 0.9% compared to last year. 

Gross revenues recorded a decline of MAD 15.3 billion ($1.66 billion). This decrease factors in a decline of MAD 11.6 billion ($1.26 billion) in tax revenue and MAD 3.5 billion ($0.38 billion) in non-tax revenue.

Meanwhile, ordinary expenditures stood at nearly MAD 9.3 million ($1.01 billion), an increase of 5.6%. This number represents an execution rate of 73.9%.

Issuances for capital expenditures amounted to MAD 43.9 billion ($43.9 billion), representing a 62% achievement rate compared to Morocco’s amended finance law forecasts.

The number represents a decrease of 6.7%, or MAD 3.1 billion ($0.34 billion), compared to the same period of 2019. The development is largely due to a decrease in spending under ministerial budgets.

Special treasury accounts generated a surplus of MAD 10.4 billion ($1.13 billion), compared to MAD 3.2 billion ($0.35 billion) one year earlier. The increase comes in part from the MAD 8 billion ($0.87 billion) surplus generated by the Special Fund for the Management and Response to COVID-19. 

The other special treasury accounts recorded an improvement of MAD 2.4 billion ($0.26 billion), compared to MAD 3.2 billion ($0.26 billion) at the end of September 2019.

Beginning in June, Morocco implemented its finance law while the country gradually eased lockdown measures, a move that came in large part to revive the national economy. The ministry’s report noted signs of recovery in some sectors due to the lockdown lifting. The ministry’s figures, the report added, also show the impact of the Economic Monitoring Committee’s measures to mitigate the pandemic’s socio-economic consequences.