The International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff mission in Tunis has published a statement, hailing Tunisia's economic performance. "Economic performance remained strong in 2005. Macroeconomic stability was maintained, despite rising oil prices on the international markets, stagnating European demand, and the negative, albeit limited, impact of the expiration of the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing," the statement said. "The real GDP growth rate stands at around 4¼ percent, inflation remains under control, and the unemployment rate continues to decline. The external current account deficit is projected at 1.8 percent of GDP, an improvement of almost 0.2 percentage point over 2004 and this, together with substantial capital inflows, made it possible to increase international reserves to the equivalent of over 3½ months of imports of goods and services," it added.
"Tunisia's economic outlook remains broadly favorable, with relatively high growth in a stable macroeconomic environment reflecting appropriate economic policies. Nonetheless, to catch up with per capita income levels in the OECD emerging countries and significantly reduce unemployment, which is increasingly affecting graduates, additional efforts are required," the IMF said.