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| 15 February, 2018

Tunisia's economy grew 1.9% in 2017 vs 1% in 2016

The state statistics institute said the growth was driven by a 2.5% expansion in the agricultural sector.

People buy vegetables at a market in Tebourba, Tunisia January 11, 2018.

People buy vegetables at a market in Tebourba, Tunisia January 11, 2018.

REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi

TUNIS - Tunisia's economy grew 1.9 percent in 2017 compared with 1 percent in the previous year, official figures showed on Thursday.

The state statistics institute said the growth was driven by a 2.5-percent expansion in the agricultural sector.

The North African country's economy has been recovering slowly since taking a hit following the overthrow of autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011 and two major militant attacks in 2015.

Tunisia is aiming to raise GDP growth to 3 percent this year. It forecasts the budget deficit to fall to 4.9 percent of gross domestic product in 2018, from 6 percent in 2017.

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Tunisian Prime minister Youssef Chahed said last month that 2018 will be the last year of hardship.

Parliament was due to vote to approve World Bank official Marouane El Abassi as the new central bank governor on Thursday night, a day after former governor Chedli Ayari resigned.

(Reporting By Tarek Amara; Editing by Andrew Heavens) ((tarek.amara@thomsonreuters.com;))