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Tunisia: current account deficit widens further, by almost 1200 MD in 5 months

“The current account balance recorded a deficit of 4,922 million dinars (MD) in the first five months of 2017, i.e. 5.1% of GDP against 3,782 MTD and 4.2% during the same period of the last year “.

This was revealed by a study on “the current account deficit”, published in June 2017 by the Central Bank of Tunisia.

The BCT explained the current account deficit by the rise in the trade deficit in the first five months of 2017 by 1.352 MTD to 6.488 MTD due to an increase in imports by 17.9%, while exports increased by only 14.2%.

Import coverage of exports declined by 2.2% to 67.3%.

The trade deficit under the general scheme increased by 1.905 MD to exceed 10.2 billion dinars due to the increase in imports (+ 18.5%) at a more sustained rate than exports (+ 6.8% ).

On the external payments side, the study noted a restoration of the balance of services with a surplus of 20 MD against a deficit of 148 MD in the first five months of 2016, following the improvement noted in the tourism and transport sectors.

Conversely, the surplus in the current account of factor incomes and transfers decreased by 121 MD to 455 MD in the first five months of 2017.

This decline was the result of higher capital expenditures by 11.1% to 1.271 million dinars as a result of an 8.9% increase in expenditures on foreign investment transfers to 745 MD.

In addition, expenditures for medium and long-term debt interest grew by 9.5% to 456 MD. Labor income increased by 4.4% to reach 1.479 MD.

For its part, the deficit of the energy balance worsened by 285 MD, to reach 1.5 billion dinars from January to May 2017.

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