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Tunisia Economy Profile 2014

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Economy - overviewTunisia's diverse, market-oriented economy has long been cited as a success story in Africa and the Middle East, but it faces an array of challenges during the country's ongoing political transition. Following an ill-fated experiment with socialist economic policies in the 1960s, Tunisia embarked on a successful strategy focused on bolstering exports, foreign investment, and tourism, all of which have become central to the country's economy. Key exports now include textiles and apparel, food products, petroleum products, chemicals, and phosphates, with about 80% of exports bound for Tunisia's main economic partner, the European Union. Tunisia's liberal strategy, coupled with investments in education and infrastructure, fueled decades of 4-5% annual GDP growth and improving living standards. Former President (1987-2011) Zine el Abidine BEN ALI continued these policies, but as his reign wore on cronyism and corruption stymied economic performance and unemployment rose among the country's growing ranks of university graduates. These grievances contributed to the January 2011 overthrow of BEN ALI, sending Tunisia's economy into a tailspin as tourism and investment declined sharply. During 2012 and 2013, the Tunisian Government’s focus on the political transition led to a neglect of the economy that resulted in several downgrades of Tunisia’s credit rating. As the economy recovers, Tunisia's government faces challenges reassuring businesses and investors, bringing budget and current account deficits under control, shoring up the country's financial system, bringing down high unemployment, and reducing economic disparities between the more developed coastal region and the impoverished interior.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$108.4 billion (2013 est.)
$105.4 billion (2012 est.)
$101.8 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$48.38 billion (2013 est.)
GDP - real growth rate2.8% (2013 est.)
3.6% (2012 est.)
-1.9% (2011 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$9,900 (2013 est.)
$9,800 (2012 est.)
$9,500 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
Gross national saving26.1% of GDP (2013 est.)
25.4% of GDP (2012 est.)
24.1% of GDP (2011 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 66.5%
government consumption: 18.4%
investment in fixed capital: 22.6%
investment in inventories: 3.5%
exports of goods and services: 49.2%
imports of goods and services: -60.1%
(2013 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 8.6%
industry: 30.4%
services: 61% (2013 est.)
Population below poverty line3.8% (2005 est.)
Labor force3.974 million (2013 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 18.3%
industry: 31.9%
services: 49.8% (2009 est.)
Unemployment rate17.2% (2013 est.)
17.4% (2012 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 42.3% (2011)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.3%
highest 10%: 31.5% (2000)
Distribution of family income - Gini index40 (2005 est.)
41.7 (1995 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $12.16 billion
expenditures: $15.8 billion (2013 est.)
Taxes and other revenues25.1% of GDP (2013 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-7.5% of GDP (2013 est.)
Public debt51.1% of GDP (2013 est.)
46.1% of GDP (2012 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)6.1% (2013 est.)
5.6% (2012 est.)
Central bank discount rate5.75% (31 December 2010 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate7.31% (31 December 2012 est.)
6.76% (31 December 2011 est.)
Stock of narrow money$13.08 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$13.44 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of broad money$29.8 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$30.72 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$35.59 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$36.09 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$8.887 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$9.662 billion (31 December 2011)
$10.68 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Agriculture - productsolives, olive oil, grain, tomatoes, citrus fruit, sugar beets, dates, almonds; beef, dairy products
Industriespetroleum, mining (particularly phosphate, iron ore), tourism, textiles, footwear, agribusiness, beverages
Industrial production growth rate3% (2013 est.)
Current Account Balance-$4.556 billion (2013 est.)
-$3.773 billion (2012 est.)
Exports$17.46 billion (2013 est.)
$17.07 billion (2012 est.)
Exports - commoditiesclothing, semi-finished goods and textiles, agricultural products, mechanical goods, phosphates and chemicals, hydrocarbons, electrical equipment
Exports - partnersFrance 26.2%, Italy 16%, Germany 9.4%, Libya 7.6%, US 4.3% (2012)
Imports$24.95 billion (2013 est.)
$23.1 billion (2012 est.)
Imports - commoditiestextiles, machinery and equipment, hydrocarbons, chemicals, foodstuffs
Imports - partnersFrance 19.8%, Italy 16.7%, Germany 7.3%, China 6%, Spain 5.3%, Algeria 4.4% (2012)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$8.113 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$8.36 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Debt - external$26.95 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$24.6 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$34.64 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$33.4 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$295 million (31 December 2013 est.)
$285 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Exchange ratesTunisian dinars (TND) per US dollar -
1.638 (2013 est.)
1.5619 (2012 est.)
1.4314 (2010 est.)
1.3503 (2009)
1.211 (2008)
Fiscal yearcalendar year

Source: CIA World Factbook
Unless otherwise noted, information in this page is accurate as of August 23, 2014