Tunisia Economic Outlook
Year-on-year GDP growth weakened sharply to 0.6% in Q2 from 2.0% in Q1. Private spending grew less in the second quarter than in the first, likely as a result of near double-digit inflation pressuring household budgets. Looking at a breakdown of the GDP reading by sector, agricultural output plummeted due to a severely reduced harvest hit by drought. One bright spot was the tourist sector, with the hospitality industry growing at a stronger rate in Q2 than in Q1. In other news, President Kais Saied appointed Ahmed Hachani to replace Najla Bouden as prime minister in early August. The move is unlikely to herald significant policy shifts ahead but will inject fresh uncertainty into currently-stalled negotiations with the IMF over a vital USD 1.9 billion bailout.
Inflation eased to 9.1% in July (June: 9.3%). Average inflation should ease ahead on a higher base effect but is projected to linger above the 10-year average of 5.7% going into 2024 on a weaker dinar and subsidy cuts. Moreover, our panelists may up their forecasts ahead, following the end of the Ukraine grain deal and the expected poor harvest.