(Xinhua) -- Morocco's central bank raised its benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points to 3 percent on Tuesday.


This measure aims to curb inflation and promote price stability, said the bank in a statement following the first quarterly meeting of 2023.


The bank expects the inflation rate to drop to 5.5 percent in 2023, down from 6.6 percent in 2022, which was a record high since 1992.

The North African country's economic growth would rise to 2.6 percent in 2023, from 1.2 percent in 2022, it said.


Meanwhile, the bank expected the current account deficit to narrow to 2.8 percent of the GDP in 2023, down from 3.9 percent in 2022, due to the expected decline in energy prices.


The budget deficit is expected to decline to 4.7 percent of the GDP in 2023, down from 5 percent in 2022, mainly as a result of the expected improvement in both tax and non-tax revenues.


Morocco's foreign exchange reserves would stand at 358.8 billion dirhams (about 35 billion U.S. dollars) in 2023, enough to cover five months and 21 days of import needs, the bank added.


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