IMF: Tunisia records economic growth despite agricultural slump
Tunisia recorded a positive growth in 2002 despite a fourth year of drought that caused agricultural output to fall to a record low, a weakening in global demand that caused a slowdown in exports, and a drop in tourist revenues following the events of September 11, 2001, reported an International Monetary Fund mission concluding statement.
The state’s new monetary policy, taken since April 2001 to ensure that domestic demand growth remains in line with output growth is achieving its objectives. The external current account deficit is likely to be around 3.8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2002, down from 4.3 percent of GDP in 2001 despite the increase in agricultural imports and the drop in tourist revenues.
A cautious fiscal policy stance has also helped to achieve this result. Indeed, despite a decline in revenues due to the economic slowdown and a decrease in imports, significant expenditure cuts, particularly in capital expenditures, and higher non-tax revenues limited the budget deficit to 3.2 percent of GDP.
IMF mission concluding statements describe the preliminary findings of staff at the conclusion of certain official staff visits to member countries. Missions are undertaken as part of regular consultations under Article IV of the IMF's Articles of Agreement, in the context of a request to use IMF resources, as part of discussions of staff monitored programs, and as part of other staff reviews of economic developments. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)