Tunisia cut its forecast for 2009 economic growth to 4.5 percent from 5.0 percent on Wednesday, blaming recessions in major economies and an uncertain outlook.
Finance Minister Mohamed Rachid Kchich called the new forecast “satisfactory” given recessions in the United States, Japan and in the European Union, a major market for Tunisian exports and services.
The minister said the result would be a limited decline in state revenues but maintained a budget deficit forecast of 3.5 percent as long as economic conditions allow.
He stressed the need to involve economic actors … to further achieve tax equity and broaden the tax base with a view to reinforcing the state’s tax resources and support companies, notably those offshore ones, which are witnessing a slowdown of their activities,” TAP said.
Tunisia’s central bank cut its key interest rate by 75 basis points to 4.5 percent in February, citing the economic slowdown abroad and falling inflation.
Tunisia a country of 10 million people relies on exports of manufactured goods and services, mostly to the EU.
Its economy grew by around 5 percent last year and the government had previously envisaged 2009 growth of 6 percent.