Tunisia: Central Bank Predicts 2 per cent Growth for 2016

Tunisia’s economy will witness little growth this year (2 per cent) and next year (3.5 per cent) with tourism and agriculture sectors still in difficult situations, the Central Bank announced.

The Central Bank’s report indicates that contrary to 2015 marked by a growth rate estimated below 1 per cent, hitting nearly 0 per cent, Tunisia this year will regain its growth pace (2 per cent) registered during post-2011 years.

The Central Bank argued that the 2 per cent growth will be possible thanks to a rebound of extractive industrial companies along with an expected increase in the demands by main partners, especially in the Euro zone.

The bank’s prediction also relies on the expected positive and significant contribution of the progressive pick-up of production in certain sectors such as chemical industry, mines, phosphate and energy.

Though there are good signs of growth, the report is warry of some risks such as “the intensification of geopolitical crisis” that might affect the growth prediction.

The main contributor of the GDB until 2015, the tourism sector, has been significantly affected in 2015 by two terrorist attacks. The Central Bank put losses incurred during the first quarter of this year at 51.7 (€120 million) compared to the same period last year.

The agriculture sector will signal negative signs this year due to insufficient rainfall, which will seriously affect the 2016 agricultural season. Social unrests, which shook the country this year, have had a negative impact on the agricultural production as well, the Bank says.

However, they are confident the two challenged sectors will know a laudable recovery next year thanks to reforms being implement by the government.

The inflation, says the bank, will reach 3.6 this year and 4.2 per cent next year against 6 per cent registered during the years that followed the 2011 revolution.

The Tunisian Government is challenged by the increasing number of jobless Tunisians. Unemployment rate has been estimated at 15 per cent of the total population (11 million) with more than 600,000 young graduates still on the dole.

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