Tunisia’s industrial production dropped 0.8% y/y in the first three months of the year, slightly improving from a 0.9% y/y contraction at end-February, as manufacturing industries, which have the largest weight in the index, remained in the red, the statistics office, INS, said. Tunisia’s industrial output rose 2.2% y/y in Q1 2013.
Overall manufacturing output (77.7% of the index) fell 1.0% y/y in January-March (down 1.1% at end-February) dragged down by a 12.2% y/y contraction in food and agriculture production. Chemicals production grew 5.3% y/y in Q1 but slowed from a 14.3% y/y growth in January-February. Strong EU and regional demand for fertilisers continue to support the reading.
A strong EU demand also boosted textiles production in the first three months of the year, rising 1.9% y/y.
The mining output (3.39% of the basket) climbed 44.2% y/y over the period boosted by higher phosphate production. The energy output (18.9% of the index), however, continued to dent Tunisia’s overall industrial production, falling 2.6% y/y in January-March.
Late in May, Tunisia's central bank (CBT) left the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 4.5%, underscoring negative economic trends, including sluggish industrial output and weakening tourism activity.
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