Morocco's central bank predicts higher growth of 5 percent in 2015 amid lower energy costs

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RABAT, Morocco — Morocco's central bank predicts the country's economy will grow 5 percent in 2015 amid a string of positive indicators boosted by lower oil prices.

The quarterly report by the Bank Al-Maghreb released Tuesday said growth would be buoyed by a strong agricultural season, increased industrial output and a 45 percent drop in energy spending.

Growth was just 2.5 percent in 2014. Oil prices dropped by half in the past six months. Morocco imports most of its energy.

The current account deficit is predicted to drop from 5.9 percent of gross domestic product to 4 percent in 2015.

Morocco's Islamist-led government has pursued austerity programs since coming to power in 2012, freezing hiring, cutting sensitive fuel subsidies and spending.

The previous government incurred high debt after increasing spending in 2011.

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