Tunisia's economy shrank 3% in the first quarter of 2021

In the first quarter of 2020, Tunisia's GDP contracted 1.7% from the same period a year earlier

  
Rooftops in Tunis. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Rooftops in Tunis. Image used for illustrative purpose.

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TUNIS - Tunisia's gross domestic product shrank 3% in the first quarter of 2021 from a year ago, the State Statistics Institute said on Saturday, showing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the country's tourism industry.

Tourism accounts for about 8% of Tunisia's GDP and is a major source of foreign currency. In the first quarter of 2020, Tunisia's GDP had contracted 1.7% from the same period a year earlier.  

Tunisia, which has seen its debt burden rise and economy shrink by 8.8% last year in real terms, has started talks with the International Monetary Fund to seek a financial assistance package.  

The State Statistics Institute said that unemployment rates are at 17.8 %, amid an unprecedented economic crisis in the country, which led to a record fiscal deficit of more than 11% in 2020.

(Reporting by Tarek Amara; Editing by David Clarke and Jane Merriman) ((tarek.amara@thomsonreuters.com;))

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