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Hospitality helps Tunisian economy grow 2% in Q1

Bab El Bhar Tunis Tunisia Unsplash/Chermiti Mohamed
Tourists visiting sites such as Bab El Bhar in Tunis have boosted the Tunisian economy

The Tunisian economy grew by 2.1 percent in the first quarter of this year, although unemployment hit 16.1 percent, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INS).

The year-on-year growth was driven by increased revenues from the communications, transport and hotels, restaurants and coffee shops sectors, which grew 4.8 percent, 5.3 percent and 16.3 percent respectively.

The services sector expanded by 3.2 percent, while manufacturing was up 2.2 percent.

However, other sectors of the Tunisian economy did not fare so well.

Agriculture was down 3.1 percent and the energy, mining, water, sewerage and waste treatment sector fell by 10.1 percent, attributed largely to the 15.7 percent drop in the output of the oil and natural gas sector and 9.6 percent year-on-year decline in mining.

The INS also revealed a 1.6 percent fall in the country’s building and construction sector and the industrial sector was down 1.1 percent.

Despite ongoing inflationary pressures, domestic demand grew by 1.8 percent, while the foreign trade balance contributed by 0.2 percent, as the volume of goods and services exports saw a 12.3 percent increase, slightly exceeding that of imports (10 percent).

Tunisia’s inflation rate eased slightly to 10.1 percent in April 2023, against 10.3 percent the previous month.

Tunisia has more than $2 billion of foreign exchange debt repayments due in the fourth quarter of this year and the first quarter of 2024.