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Tunisia has been suffering from a severe imbalance in its balance of payments and a simultaneous slump in its GDP growth rate. Recent data on the trade balance are not good and exports shrank again by 3.5% y/y in Q3 2016. The trade deficit has been stable at an average USD 5.7 billion in the past four quarters due to shrinking exports. The current account deficit is likely to exceed 9% of GDP in 2016.
Rates rose slightly in late 2015, but fell back again in 2016, to 1.7% in August. We lean towards a scenario in which OAT rates and lending rates rise slightly in 2017.
The effect of external support factors, which was marked in 2015 and 2016, should be weaker in 2017. The recovery in the Eurozone and a fortiori in France, will, therefore, be based on a slightly larger cyclical component as the business environment gradually improves on the strength of a self-sustaining recovery driven by employment-incomes-consumption factors.
The Bank of Mexico is keeping its real key rate at 1.8% (nominal 4.75%), given that inflation is at 3.0%. Growth is sluggish (shrinking 0.2% q/q in Q2). The peso hits a record low of 19.85 MXN/USD on 26 September.
GDP rose by 0.3% in Q216. True, this was a slowdown relative to Q1's 0.5% growth, although that was driven exceptionally by weather factors and adjustments after a gloomy 2015 year-end. Domestic demand has not fuelled growth as much as before, with a contribution that was only just positive, at 0.1 of a percentage point.
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