In the context of the health crisis, demand for cash in 2020 marked an exceptional acceleration to achieve growth of 20% against 7% in 2019, the highest rate observed over the last thirty years.
Currency circulation thus stood at some 319 billion dirhams (billion dirhams) in 2020, while in volume, it stood at 2.1 billion banknotes and 2.9 billion coins, ie respective increases of 17% and 2%, specifies Bank Al-Maghrib (BAM) in its annual report on financial market infrastructures and means of payment, their supervision and financial inclusion.
While the trend was normal over the first two months of the year, the net outflows of banknotes (BBM) increased sharply between the months of March and May, recording a total over the period of more than 38 billion dirhams against a average of 6.6 billion over the same period of the last three years. Noting that a historic peak was observed for the month of March, the flow of which rose from MAD 2 billion usually to 16 billion, the report explains this unprecedented increase by the massive recourse of households to cash to pay for the purchases of basic products. experienced strong demand at the start of the health crisis as well as to build up cash reserves in view of the uncertainties that hovered over the extent and duration of the pandemic.
Over the rest of the year, and despite the distribution of government cash assistance, the decline in economic activity under the effects of the pandemic was reflected in the currency circulation, which evolved at a slower pace. at its normal rate, but without as much compensating for the massive outflows observed previously, notes the report, adding that net flows were thus limited to just over 10 billion, while they had evolved between 2017 and 2019 to neighborhoods of 14 billion.
Thus, the ratio of currency in circulation to GDP stood at 30% against an average of 22% observed in previous years, said the same source, noting that this significant increase was observed at the level of several countries. .