Despite ongoing economic and political instability, the Tunisian infrastructure, construction and real estate industry’s outlook is favorable. Future prospects are positive due to the government’s focus on improving the country’s infrastructure and residential requirements. Industry growth will also be driven by developments in the tourism and retail sectors, as well as the country’s new investment code, which includes several blocks, such as guarantees on investment and access to investment incentives. The construction industry’s output is expected to grow annually by over 5% in 2017.
Tunisia has one of the highest-ranking infrastructure sectors in the MENA region in terms of overall quality and active government efforts to invest in infrastructure projects as well as attracting foreign investment in real estate and infrastructure development, Tunisia’s infrastructure, construction and real estate sectors are on track for sustained growth in coming years. The infrastructure, real estate and construction sectors are also important contributors to Tunisia’s national GDP and employment. In 2014, the number of jobs by the construction and settlements sector was measured at 456,000, representing 13.5% of total employment.
Growth in the Tunisian economy is set for a slower trajectory than previously hoped. The October 2017 world economic outlook from the International Monetary Fund cut the outlook for growth in each of the four years from 2017. The economy is now expected to post 2.3% growth in 2017 rather than 2.5% as forecast six months earlier. Growth for the following three years is 3.0% (3.1%), 3.5% (3.7%) and 4.1%, (4.2%). Official data had already showed that the economy had slowed in the second quarter of the year, indicating that the road to recovery remained bumpy. Annualised GDP growth slowed to 1.8% in the three months to June 2017 from 2.1% in the previous quarter but still up from the recent trough of 1.1%. The economy grew by 1.0% in 2016 and 1.1% in 2015. In May 2017, Fitch Ratings raised its growth forecasts to 2.3% for 2017 from 2% previously and forecast growth of 2.5% in 2018. The economy was hit in 2015 after its tourism industry was struck by militant attacks at a Tunis museum and a beach resort hotel. The IMF said that economic reforms agreed under the four-year Extended Fund Facility arrangement approved in May 2016 were critical to move the Tunisian economy towards higher growth and more jobs.