Tunisia's real GDP growth cooled to 2.3% y/y in the fourth quarter of 2013 from 2.4% in Q3 on shrinking agriculture and oil and gas output, the statistics office INS said in a flash statement. In 2013, real GDP growth reached 2.6% y/y, retreating from 3.6% the year before. The reading undershoots the EBRD’s forecast of 2.9% GDP growth in 2013 and the IMF’s 3.0% projection. The slowdown reflects weaker domestic and external demand, and the sharp impact of social unrest on production, especially in the mining and energy sectors.
Political and security developments in Tunisia have weighed on the economic activity in 2013. The economic activity will likely not recover before 2015 as the transition period has taken much longer time, according to central banker Chedly Ayari.
The 2014 draft budget tables 4.0% GDP growth.
The manufacturing sector remained strong in Q4 2013, expanding by 3.1% y/y. The output was supported by a 3.9% y/y growth in the textile and clothing sector, a 1.2% rise in the mechanical and electrical industries and a 13.9% expansion in the chemical sector. The mining and energy sector, however, shrank 4.2% y/y in Q4 on lower phosphate output and strikes in exploration sites. The agriculture output dropped 4.1% y/y in Q4 widening from 3.9% contraction the previous quarter on poor harvest.
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