(MENAFN) Morocco's economy slowed down to 2.2 percent during the first quarter compared to 4.7 percent in the fourth quarter 2011, Al Hayat newspaper reported.
The newspaper attributed the slowdown to the lower agricultural output due to the lack of rain, the continuing effects of economic and financial crisis in the euro zone area, and a decline in tourist revenue and foreign investment flows.
According to Al Hayat, Morocco's agricultural output dropped 11.7 percent, While the tourism industry contributed 1.6 percent less to the economy.
The North African country saw its industrial output fall to 2.8 percent in the quarter from 5 percent, as its exports of garments, mechanical and electronic products to Europe, its main market, was hurt by the ongoing economic and financial turmoil in the euro-zone.
Household consumption fell to 1.9 percent as a result of lower agricultural production and an increase in unemployment to 10 percent from about 9 percent a year ago, the newspaper said.
Morocco's economy is expected to achieve 3.7 percent growth this year, down from 4.3 percent last year, according to the International Monetary Fund. Inflation is estimated to increase to 2 percent from 0.9 percent a year ago.