Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Tunisia achieved an economic growth of 3.1% in 2021

Written by Eric Apim on Thursday, March 17th 2022 à 15:40 | Read 404 times

Tunisia achieved an economic growth of 3.1% in 2021
TUNISIA. After a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) down by 8.7% in 2020, the Tunisian economic growth recorded an increase of 3.1% in 2021 while the forecasts were based on 2.6%.

According to the Tunisian National Institute of Statistics (INS), the source of these data, the fourth quarter of 2021 was up by 1.6% on an annual basis, compared to the same period in 2020. The increase was only 0.4% in the third quarter (+15.7% in the second quarter and -1.8% in the first). "This apparent acceleration of activity remains to be confirmed, insofar as the growth benefits essentially from a circumstantial recovery of production in the extraction sectors (mines 78.6%, oil and gas 20.6%)", however, specifies the organisation.

Still on this fourth quarter of 2021, the manufacturing industries (with the notable exception of phosphate products) know indeed a sluggish activity, the market services a moderate rise.

The chemical industries know a progression of 29.5%, the food-processing industries of 2.9%, the sector of building materials and ceramics increases only by 0.7%.

The mechanical and electrical industries fall by 4.6%, while the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector declines (-4.2%), as do textiles, clothing and leather (-3.9%) and financial services (-3.7%).

2021 gets back on track (chart: NSI)
2021 gets back on track (chart: NSI)

Between 3.3% and 3.5% growth expected in 2022

"These results show that the fall in GDP in 2020 has only been partially absorbed, since the level of real GDP in the fourth quarter of 2021 is still 4.6 percentage points lower than that of the last quarter of 2019," says the NSI. According to its experts, "the catching-up dynamic and the recovery of activity in certain sectors is therefore proving to be relatively slow and could be spread out over time". These data are still provisional and could be revised in future publications. This is all the more true as the NSI is delivering these figures late, and still using statistical estimation techniques for certain infra-annual indicators that are not yet available, due to a long social movement within the NSI from the end of January 2022 to mid-March 2022.

The Institute took advantage of this publication to reveal the final accounts for the year 2018 (2.6% against 2.5%), semi-final 2019 (1.3% against 1.4%) and provisional 2020 (-8.7% against -9.2%).

It also considers that "the short-term outlook is particularly difficult in view of the latest developments on the international scene and their repercussions on the national economy, the weakness of economic sentiment prevailing among business leaders and the strong inflationary pressures at work, even if they relieve the deleveraging of economic agents."

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) predicted fairly similar results for the year 2021 with, respectively, 3% and 2.9%. The two institutions forecast 3.3% (IMF) and 3.5% (WB) growth in 2022.

Tunisia has suffered the full force of the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic while its economy was already in bad shape due to several years of political instability.

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