Tunisia - The current account balance in 2021 showed a deficit of -7,844 million dinars (MD) or 6% of GDP (against -7,125 MD and 6% in 2020), according to a note published on Tuesday by the Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT) on the "Balance of payments and international investment position of Tunisia - 2021".

The BCT explained that "this result is attributable in particular to the recovery in 2021 of trade in goods and services at a sustained pace (+22.5% for exports and +23% for imports) in addition to the maintenance of labour income at an appreciable level.

On the other hand, the net inflow of external capital recorded a contraction of 2.5 billion dinars to return to 6.8 billion in 2021 under the effect of the decline of the main forms of financing combined with the increase in the amortization of the medium and long term external debt (+36.2%).

As a result of these developments, the general balance of external payments will show a surplus in 2021 which will be significantly lower than that of 2020 (+343 MD against +3.807 MD).

Correlatively, the level of net foreign exchange assets increased in value from 23.099 MD to 23.313 MD, from one year to the other, while it showed a decline in terms of days of imports going back from 162 days to 133 days in relation to the strong increase of imports in 2021.

The BCT also reported the widening of the trade deficit from 3.215 MD to 13.359 MD, in 2021, which was compensated, in a large proportion by "the strong improvement of the surplus of the balance of factor incomes and current transfers and that of services, passing, from one year to another, from 2.960 MD and 59 MD, respectively, to 4.803 MD and 712 MD.

In addition, the ratio of coverage of the trade deficit by the total tourist receipts and labour incomes, slightly fell back to 67.6% in 2021, against 68.1% one year earlier.

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