On the face of it, Tunisia’s trade deficit reached a record TD19.4bn in 2019. Exports were up 7% to TD43.9bn, while imports jumped 5% to TD63.3bn. But these figures mask the continued slide in the value of the Tunisian dinar versus the dollar: 2019 saw a 10% depreciation in the Tunisian currency.

In dollar terms, Tunisia actually recorded an 8% drop in its trade deficit to $6.6bn from 2018’s near-record $7.2bn (see chart, and table MEES, 17 January). Imports fell to $19.8bn from $22.8bn and exports also fell to $15bn from $15.6bn. The healthy fall in the trade deficit would have been much larger if it wasn’t for a record (in both dollar and dinar terms) energy deficit. (CONTINUED - 211 WORDS)