Tunisia Economic Forecast

Tunisia Economic Outlook

May 7, 2019

The economy appears to have remained on a weak footing in the first quarter of 2019, after growth decelerated in Q4 2018 due to a downturn in the industrial sector. Indeed, January and February data shows industrial production continued to decline, boding ill for economic momentum. Moreover, exports and imports both contracted throughout the quarter, while foreign exchange reserves—already critically low in previous months—continued to deplete. However, on 17 April, the IMF reached a staff-level agreement on the fifth review of Tunisia’s loan program, which could provide a desperately-needed cash injection to the country. Meanwhile, ongoing protests forced the government to raise pensions and the minimum wage on 1 May, which will likely exacerbate the fiscal deficit.

Tunisia Economic Growth

Tunisia’s prospects are riddled with challenges this year. The country’s main vulnerabilities remain its large fiscal and current account deficits, coupled with dangerously low foreign reserves. Political instability and public unrest, fueled by high unemployment and inflation, further darken the outlook. FocusEconomics panelists expect GDP growth of 2.5% in 2019, which is up 0.2 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 2.8% in 2020.

Tunisia Economy Data

Population (million)10.911.011.111.411.5
GDP per capita (USD)4,2444,3233,8833,6613,483
GDP (USD bn)46.247.543.141.740.1
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)
Consumption (annual variation in %)  
Investment (annual variation in %)0.2-2.9-0.51.0-  
Industrial Production (annual variation in %)1.1-1.1-2.6-0.5-1.0
Unemployment Rate15.815.015.215.515.4
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-6.9-5.0-4.8-6.1-6.1
Public Debt (% of GDP)46.650.855.461.969.9
Money (annual variation in %)
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)
Policy Interest Rate (%)4.504.754.254.255.00
Exchange Rate (vs USD)1.651.872.042.302.46
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)1.631.701.962.152.41
Current Account (% of GDP)-8.4-9.1-8.9-8.8-10.4
Current Account Balance (USD bn)-3.9-4.3-3.8-3.7-4.2
Trade Balance (USD billion)-7.1-8.1-6.2-5.8-6.4
Exports (USD billion)16.716.914.113.314.2
Imports (USD billion)23.925.020.319.120.6
Exports (annual variation in %)-0.30.9-16.3-6.06.5
Imports (annual variation in %)-1.14.7-18.7-6.28.0
International Reserves (USD)
External Debt (% of GDP)55.555.562.967.3-  

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Tunisia Facts

Bond Yield7.160.0 %Dec 15
Exchange Rate2.98-0.27 %May 13
Stock Market0.10.05 %May 13

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