Growth slows but outlook positive
The government has said in its 2019 budget it expects Tunisia’s economy to grow in 2019 by 3.1%, up from an estimated 2.6% this year. However this is a downgrade from August when Minister of Reforms Taou k Rajhi said he expected economic growth to accelerate to 3.5% in 2019 from 2.9% in 2018. The October 2018 world economic outlook from the International Monetary Fund left its outlook for 2018 to 2021 unchanged, after cutting its outlook six months earlier. The economy is expected to post 2.4% growth in 2018. Growth for the following two years is 2.9% and 3.4% with a forecast for growth of 3.6% for 2021. Tunisia’s economy has cooled slightly but is still running at relatively strong levels. GDP growth was 2.6% in the third quarter of 2018, down from 2.8% in the previous quarter, its strongest growth in ve years o cial gures showed. The main drivers for the slowdown were agriculture and shing easing to 8.3% compared with 9% and manufacturing falling 0.3% (0.8% growth in the previous period). The Tunisian authorities will be able to draw down a further $247m from the $3bn four-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF) following a successful fourth review of the programme in October 2018. The approval by the IMF’s Executive Board brings the total nancing so far under the arrangement to about $1.4bn. The loan may also catalyse nancing from Tunisia’s other external partners.