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Tunisia: trade balance deficit jumps 40% in 2022

January 12, 2023 at 10:16 am

The headquarters of Tunisia Central Bank, also known as Banque Centrale de Tunisie SA, in Tunis, Tunisia, on 21 Monday, 2020 [Amira Karaoud/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

Tunisia’s trade balance deficit jumped by 40 per cent last year, compared with 2021, amid a sharp rise in the value of the commodity import bill. Data from the National Institute of Statistics showed on Wednesday that the deficit over the past year was 25.216 billion dinars ($8.134bn). The figure in 2021 was about 16.2bn dinars ($5.8bn).

Tunisia is witnessing a severe economic crisis exacerbated by the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic and the high cost of importing energy and basic materials following the start of the Russia-Ukraine war in February last year.

The growth of consumer price inflation in Tunisia accelerated to 10.1 per cent year-on-year during December 2022, up from 9.8 per cent in November the previous year, according to data from the institute last Thursday. Central Bank governor Marwan Abbasi told a press conference on Wednesday last week that the prediction is for a rise in inflation rates to 11 per cent in 2023, as global price pressures continue to affect local markets.

Tunisia has been experiencing a political crisis since 25 July 2021. That’s when President Kais Saied imposed exceptional measures on the country, including the freezing of the powers of parliament, the dismissal of the prime minister and the issue of legislation by presidential decree.

READ: Inflation hits 10.1% in Tunisia