Rising manufacturing output offset subdued services contribution and shrinking agriculture sector, lifting Tunisia’s GDP growth to a still anchored 1.0% y/y in the first quarter of the year from a 0.3% annual expansion in Q4 2015, the statistics office INS said in a preliminary estimate. In quarterly terms, the GDP grew 0.4% in Q1.
The reading, despite being relatively optimistic, confirms the central bank concerns about economic growth this year. The c-bank is desperately seeking to lure further FDI, spur lending and consequently GDP growth. To achieve this, Tunisia’s central bank has kept the benchmark interest rate at 4.25% at its latest MPC sitting, seeking to reignite the tumbling GDP growth amid slowing CPI inflation and contracting industrial output.
The EBRD forecasts 1.6% GDP growth in 2016, accelerating from just 0.8% last year.
Falling olive oil output (down 60% y/y in Q1) cut Tunisia’s agro sector--and main job generator--by 2.5% y/y during the quarter. The manufacturing sector, however, expanded 1.4% y/y in Q1 on growing chemicals output (up 29% y/y), construction (up 4.2% y/y), mechanical and electrical equipment (up 1.7%) and textiles (up 0.7%).
The services sector rose 1% y/y in Q1 mainly on higher output in the telecoms sector (up 5.1% y/y), financial services (up 3.8%) and transport (up 1.3% y/y in Q1). As to the value-added tourism sector, it shrank 12% y/y in Q1 as it failed to recover from the impact of the terrorist attacks that too place in 2015.
The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE’s) global port operator Dubai Ports World on March 24 signed two framework agreements to acquire stakes in Kazakhstan’s two Special Economic ... more
The odds on the Trump administration attempting to kill the Iran nuclear deal substantially shortened on March 13 with the firing-by-tweet of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his replacement ... more
Algerian national energy company Sonatrach has struck a deal with Turkey's Ronesans and Bayegan to build a petrochemical plant worth $1bn in Turkey, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on ... more