Tunisia is expecting a zero or negative growth rate by late this year. This would bring down the rate of job creation and increase that of unemployment, which will be over 18%, said Governor of the Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT) Mustapha Kamel Nabli.
This rate stood at 13% in May 2010.
Speaking at the opening of the annual conference of FOREX Club of Tunisia on the theme of: “Capital Markets and New Challenges for Tunisian Economy,” the BCT Governor explained these pessimistic forecasts by a slowed down growth in the country’s two strategic sectors: tourism and mining of phosphates and by-products.
Nabli said that “the second transition year will be difficult. Tunisia will have to face significant challenges during this coming period, which will affect in particular employment, investment, preservation of financial balances and monetary policy.”
He added that the BCT’s room of maneuver has become reduced at the monetary level and exchange reserves, now estimated at 110 days of imports, still an acceptable level, he said.
He reminded that the monetary authorities managed during the transition period to keep the good running of the basic systems—such as credit, payment, budget system, etc.—kept inflation under control, preserved the macro-economic balances, ensured stability of the exchange rate and kept the level of foreign debt at an acceptable level, i.e., 38% by 2011.