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Tunisia: budget deficit at 4.8%, foreign currency assets stabilizes at 102 days of imports

Meeting, Tuesday, July 31, the Executive Board of the Central Bank of Tunisia recorded the ongoing consolidation of some indicators of activity in the services sector, especially tourism and transportation in connection with the tourist high season and increased exports of energy.

The Board also noted the continuing fallout of the economic recession in some European partners on the production and exports of manufacturing industries, especially textiles, leather and footwear and engineering industries, in addition to lower exports of mining products, phosphate and derivatives since last May.

They have contributed, along with a higher pace of imports, to widening the current account deficit to 4.8% of GDP in the first half of this year against 3.6% for the same period of 2011.

However, despite these pressures, the net assets in foreign currencies have stabilized at 10, 262 MTD or the equivalent of 102 days of imports to July 30, 2012, thanks to the consolidation of current account surplus in financial and capital transactions.

In monetary terms, the Board noted the increased liquidity needs of banks, which prompted the Central Bank to step up its intervention in the money market by injecting an average daily amount of 4,788 MDT last June. Moreover, the average interest rate on this market fell to 3.64% during the same month, compared with 3.74% in May.

Regarding price developments, the Board registered a slight easing in inflationary pressures during the month of June during which the slide in prices went down to 5.4% against 5.6% the previous month.

In light of these developments, the Board decided to keep unchanged the key rate of the Central Bank of Tunisia.


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