Economic expert Mourad Hattab reviewed during in an interview with African Manager different topics including stalled negotiations on wage increases in the public and private sector and the statements of the Minister of Finance on the achievement of a growth rate of 2.5%…
1. What are the consequences of the increase by the US Federal Reserve of the interest rate by 0.25% on Tunisia?
The decision to increase the interest rate is a decision that aims to boost investment. It is a financial investment. This increase will cause inflation in North America and therefore a disruption in the dollar exchange rate that could impact on the Tunisian dinar exchange rate. This is a negative but not significant impact. There will be no change in oil prices.
2. What do you think of the wage increase in the public service?
Wage increases in Tunisia are a problem that starts to stand out in an epidemic manner. It is the main cause of inflation in Tunisia, a vicious cycle that could be broken only in relation to the improvement of the situation of citizens’ purchasing power, creating a dynamics of consumption and adequate demand and creating wealth relatively proportional to the mass or the factor of production costs including the country’s payroll in general.
3. Wage negotiations in the private sector?
Wage negotiations in the private sector are a real dilemma for a sector financially asphyxiated and claims of Tunisians that could be considered legitimate. The purchasing power has decreased by 10% annually from 2012.
Wage increases will have a cost, the accentuation of inflation which begins to take wider dimensions.
4. What do you think of the statements of the Minister of Finance suggesting a growth rate of 2.5% in 2016?
We must remember that the recovery of a lost point of growth in a context of crisis requires effort deployment throughout an entire economic cycle varying in terms of concern between 3 and 5 years. Therefore, 2.5% is a rate that could be achieved only if Tunisia recovers its sectoral synergy, and this not before 2018. It is unfortunate to see that the state budget is built on a major assumption which is a random growth rate.