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Tunisia: Decrease in foreign and industrial production

In its periodic meeting held on 26 May 2009, the Executive Board of the Central Bank of Tunisia went over the recent evolutions of the economic and financial situation both at the national and the international levels. This situation was, notably, characterised by ongoing deteriorated economic activity in the industrialised countries as shown, in particular, in the substantial decrease in gross domestic product over the first quarter of 2009, in the United States, Japan and the Euro Zone.

Despite these trends, certain signs of improvement that appeared lately, notably, in the United States  may project  beginning of flow-back of fallouts of the crisis, thanks to accommodating monetary and fiscal policies that were set up in most of the countries.

Commodity prices went on an upward trend, in particular, crude oil, with the prices exceeded the threshold of 60 dollars for the  barrel. Besides, the international financial markets were marked by ongoing volatility on the main financial centres  and the exchange rates, particularly, appreciation of the euro against the US dollar.

At the national level, the economic situation was marked by a decrease in foreign trade and export-oriented industrial production in the wake of lower international demand, mainly, in the main partner countries. Yet, available provisional data  account for a promising agricultural season and a positive evolution of activity in the sectors of mining and energy as well as certain activities in the service sector  such as communication technologies and financial services.

At the monetary level, (M3) money supply maintained, over the first four months of 2009, the same trend as that posted over the same period of last year (3.9%); while financing to the economy progressed by 3% vs. 2.4% a year earlier.

Bank liquidity surplus tightened slightly in current May. Nevertheless, the Central Bank pursued its intervention to fine tune liquidity by mopping up an average amount of 856 MTD. Over the same month, the interest rate on the money market fluctuated between 4.13% and 4.39%. Till 25 May, the money market rate came at 4.28%.

From the beginning of the year and up to 25 May 2009, the dinar exchange rate posted 1.9% depreciation against the euro.
Inflation went down considerably compared to the previous year, with an average rate of 3.2% at end April 2009, compared to 5.8% in the same period of a year before.
In light of these evolutions, the Executive Board decided to maintain the same key rate of the Central Bank while stressing the need to continue to closely follow trend in the international economic and financial situation and the financing conditions of the economic activity.


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