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Tunisia: deficit of 917 MTD in balance of payments and current deficit at 8.5%

After the improvement in the first nine months of 2016 (6.4% of GDP compared to 6.9% a year earlier), the current account deficit widened markedly in October, to remain in the first half of 2016, at the same level of the previous year, i.e. 7.5% of GDP, suggesting a rate around 8.5% for the whole of 2016.

This evolution bears the mark, in particular, of the deterioration of the balance In the first 10 months of 2016, with a food balance showing a deficit of 884 MTD (compared to a surplus of 143 MTD a year earlier), in relation to the sharp decline in olive oil exports after an exceptional olive-growing season in 2015 and an energy balance which, despite the contraction of its deficit, does not seem to have fully benefited from the fall in international prices due to the decline in domestic production.

On the other hand, there is a slight gradual recovery in the tourism sector, as reflected in the reduction in revenues (-7.1% in the first ten months of 2016 against -31.3% in the same period 2015).

Transfers in respect of labor income were, in turn, virtually stabilized compared to the same period of the previous year.

The evolution of the current balance combined with the decrease in the balance of financial and capital operations resulted in a widening of the balance of the general balance of payments which was -917 MTD at the end of October 2016 against -224 MTD one year earlier.


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