Tunisia’s foreign exchange reserves currently amount to 12.5 billion dinars, or 105 days of imports, according to the Director-General of the Monetary Policy at the Central Bank of Tunisia, BCT.
The exchange rate has stabilised after the BCT intervened to smoothen out acute variations in the rate, Mohamed Salah Souilem indicated on the sidelines of a seminar on Friday, of a Tunisian-French twinning project that seeks to revamp the operational framework of the BCT monetary policy.
”The Central Bank seeks to ensure that the exchange rate fully plays its role in helping contain trade deficit slippage on the one hand, and funding necessary imports while maintaining an appropriate level of reserves, on the other,” he was quoted as saying by Tunis Afrique Presse, TAP.
Souilem also added that there is a need for strong economic foundations, particularly better quality of goods and services and increased productivity, to secure the recovery of the Tunisian dinar.
Government statistics currently indicate that the coverage rate of imports by exports fell 8 percentage points in the first quarter of 2017, reaching 66 percent against 74 percent during the same period last year, which puts the trade deficit at 3,878.9 MTD. The dinar, which depreciated 10 percent, contributed to the widening of the deficit.
The Central Bank raised on 25th April the key interest rate by 50 basis points to 4.75 to reduce the risk of inflationary pressures and encourage savings.