Tunisia’s Foreign Reserves Shrink to $4.6 bln

Due to a crisis that has hit vital sectors of the Tunisian economy, Tunis continues to eat into its foreign exchange reserves, which have dwindled to $4.6 billion covering 80 days of exports, the central bank said.

The bank attributed the decline to the country’s need to use foreign exchange funds at the beginning of each year to provide the necessary stocks of energy, food and industrial raw materials, in addition to servicing foreign debt.

The deepening trade deficit, which hit 15.5 billion dinars by the end of 2017, is also a factor that propelled the steep fall in Tunisia’s reserves.

The Bank expects the reserves to slightly rise as a result of growing agricultural exports and slowly improving tourist market after the 2015 Sousse terrorist attacks that caused a steep fall in tourists’ arrivals.

The government expects tourism revenues to grow this year by about 25 percent compared to last year.

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