Tunisian economic forecasters are not optimistic about the year 2009. In a recent note on the economic environment, it was stated that “the year 2009 looks very difficult for foreign trade and industrial structure that underlies it.” The document made it clear that «Tunisian exports whose two main engines are strongly dependent on demand from the three major economies in the euro zone, will be particularly hit by recession. The difficulties in the automotive sector will affect mechanic and electrical industry”
The impact of the international economic crisis on Tunisia will come from exports and thus dropping demand on its most important products, including automotive components and textile. Tunisian economic analysts say that industrial activity could have a “particular patent drop” and “manufacturing enters into technical recession.” A recession that has already begun over the last two quarters in 2008 as it had already recorded “a decline in added value ” The same sources do not conceal their apprehension of a “likely continuation of this trend in the short term and may affect other components of growth, in particular those relating to services including those connected to industrial enterprises. This could also “affect significantly growth in the first half of this year.”
Tunisian economic analysts note that “industrial production fell heavily late 2008. The very sharp slowdown in global demand and especially the entry into recession of our major trading partners affects the prospects of Tunisian industrial production. Usually very volatile, the growth rate of industrial production moved since late 2007 on a downward slope almost linear and has declined for the third consecutive time during the fourth quarter. The drop was obvious in December, particularly in manufacturing where the decrease reached -4.5%, thus underlining the recessionary prospects of Tunisian industry.
Economic analysts say manufacturing short-term prospects remain highly uncertain, “the beginning of 2009 should record a sharp decline in output. And even if they do not rule out a slight rebound in the medium term at the level of manufacturing industries taken together, they argue that “the next year should lead to a strong landing of production and probably an adjustment at the level of industry workforce.»