Tunisia: Trade deficit surges over first two months of 2017

Tunisia’s trade deficit increased over the first two months of 2017, the Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT) announced on Tuesday.

The deficit reached over 2.5 billion dinars (1.1 billion U.S. dollars) from 1.35 billion dinars of the same period last year, due to higher expansion of imports than exports, with increase rate of 23.7 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively.

“In 2016, the national economyregistered nearly the same growth rate, 1 percent, as a year earlier, mainly due to a bad agricultural season especially for olive oil in addition to a decline in energy production,” according to BCT.

For the year 2017, growth is expected to recover slightly to 2.3 percent, thanks to the increase of phosphate production and better tourism ahead, BCT said.

By the end of February this year, the country’s inflation rate was stable at 4.6 percent for two consecutive months, mainly because of  a moderate decline in the Consumer Price Index.

From Jan. 1 to March 28, 2017, Tunisian dinar has risen by 1.5 percent against the U.S. dollar and depreciated by 0.9 percent againstthe Euro.


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