Abdellatif Jouahri : «Les banques centrales font face à un dilemme délicat »

“Central banks face a tricky dilemma”

Faced with inflation accelerating to levels not seen in decades, central banks face a delicate dilemma, whether to tighten monetary policy and further curb the economy, or favor an accommodating stance with the risk of an accentuation of soaring prices. “While the trend is clearly towards the first option, some central banks among the first to begin normalization like South Korea’s, are calling for more finesse and agility in the face of high levels of uncertainty surrounding the outlook. of growth and inflation” indicated the Wali.

For their part, and in addition to the slowdown in the economy, governments are facing increased social needs and pressure to support purchasing power, knowing that their budgetary margins are largely reduced by the health crisis, with very high debt levels and increasingly difficult financing conditions “, he underlined, explaining that to this are added many other challenges linked in particular to the persistence of supply chain disruptions and the profound changes that were at work long before the health crisis and that it has accelerated. ” These are in particular digitalisation, the rise of economic sovereignty, the questioning of multilateralism and the requirements in the fight against climate change. “.

According to the Wali of Bank Al-Maghrib, the whole world order is being reshaped according to economic and geopolitical interests.

Here in Morocco, we are obviously not immune to the effects of this difficult international environment. Thanks to exceptional mobilization at all levels, the national economy has been able to largely overcome the health crisis, recording a rebound of nearly 8% in 2021. However, and like everywhere else, it is suffering the consequences of the war in Ukraine with, in particular, an increase in the energy bill and strong external pressure on consumer prices. At Bank Al-Maghrib, we continue to maintain the exceptional measures that we deployed during the health crisis so as not to slow down the recovery, but at the same time we remain very vigilant regarding price trends. As I said at the press conference I held after the Council meeting two days ago, we expect inflation to be slightly above 5% this year, but which should return to a moderate level next year . After its analysis of all available data on the national and international environment as well as medium-term macroeconomic projections, the Board decided at this meeting to keep the key rate unchanged. “.

The stagflation hypothesis is not unanimous

In the latest edition of its economic outlook, the World Bank refers to an increase in the risk of stagflationbut, according to the Wali, “ this is an opinion that is not necessarily unanimous, the former president of the Fed, Ben Bernanke or even the president of the ECB, for example, reject the comparisons established between the situation of the 1970s and that of ‘today.“, he specifies.

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