Tunisia's economic growth slows amid ongoing challenges

(MENAFN) According to the National Institute of Statistics in Tunisia, the country's economic growth has decelerated significantly, with the first quarter of the year registering a mere 0.2 percent growth compared to the 1.1 percent recorded during the same period last year. Concurrently, the unemployment rate has edged up to 16.2 percent in the first quarter, a marginal increase from the 16.1 percent reported in the corresponding period of the previous year.

The Institute attributes this sluggish growth primarily to the services sector, which saw a modest increase in value added of 1.9 percent on an annual basis. Additionally, there has been a relative recovery in agricultural sector activity, recording a growth rate of 1.6 percent following consecutive challenging agricultural seasons.

However, Tunisia continues to grapple with a severe financial crisis exacerbated by the failure to finalize a potential program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Under this program, Tunisia would have received crucial financing amounting to $1.9 billion. Unfortunately, the inability to reach a final agreement has left the country in a precarious financial position.

Recently, a World Bank report highlighted the sudden faltering of Tunisia's economic recovery in 2023. Factors contributing to this setback include a severe drought, stringent financing conditions, and a slow pace of reforms. Consequently, the Tunisian economy in 2023 fell below its pre-pandemic levels, illustrating one of the slowest recovery rates in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Despite efforts to spur economic growth, Tunisia faces formidable challenges that impede its path to recovery. Addressing these issues will require concerted efforts from both domestic policymakers and international partners to stabilize the economy and foster sustainable growth in the long term.



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