Tunisian growth, at 3% (annualized) for 1H13 was “more modest than anticipated,” the IMF said on 26 September following a mission to Tunisia. The IMF added that the Tunisian economy faced risks from its ongoing political turmoil and the deteriorating economic situation among Tunisia’s trading partners. Tunisia’s fiscal and external balances continue to worsen, with reforms proceeding more slowly than anticipated, the IMF says.

In order to address the main vulnerabilities facing Tunisia, urgent efforts are required to control external and budget deficits, reduce banking sector problems and generate more rapid and inclusive growth, the IMF says. This would absorb unemployment while reducing social and economic disparities. Also in order to preserve macroeconomic stability, it is essential to pursue appropriate policies designed to maintain fiscal and external sustainability. The IMF says that it is vital Tunis expedites reform implementation to generate rapid and inclusive growth, support private sector development, strengthen the banking sector and protect the most vulnerable members of society. (CONTINUED - 261 WORDS)