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The Executive Board of the Central Bank held its periodic meeting on 15 May 2018 and considered the different issues scheduled in its agenda.
At the beginning of its works, The Board praised the initiative of the Central Bank in holding the African Summit on the technology of "BlockChain" with the contribution of high level representatives at the continental and regional level and the active participation of the central banks and financial institutions partners of Tunisia and representatives of the financial sector and the private operators active in the area of information and communication technologies; underlining the opportunities offered by these new technologies to support economic growth and financial inclusion in African countries.
Then the Board reviewed the latest evolutions at the economic, monetary and financial levels and noted the 2.5% improvement in the economic activity pace in annual shift during the first quarter of 2018 and 1% in quarterly shift, compared to 1.9% and 0.7% respectively for the same period of the previous year. Hence, this growth is attributable to improved production, from year to the next, in most productive sectors, with 11.9% in the agriculture and fishing sector, 3.3% in market services and 2.4% in manufacturing industries, while production declined by 5.3% in the non-manufacturing industries, both for mining and for fuel.
On the other hand, the Board pointed out, in particular, the persistence of inflationary pressures at a high level, with the increase in the consumer price index at the end of April of the current year by 7.7% in annual shift. In this context, the Board underlined that persisting of this progress pace may affect negatively the recent economic recovery which requires an ongoing monitoring of sources of inflation, and more coherence of economic policies and the activation of appropriate mechanisms to reduce this risk.
On the other hand, and with regard to follow-up of the Central Bank activities, the Board examined a report on the results of the foreign currency reserves’ management during 2017 and discussed the axes of the strategy to be adopted in this respect over 2018.
Concerning the mobilization of external resources, the Board approved two arrangements with the Arab Monetary Fund involving the Compensatory Loan and The Small and Medium Enterprise’s Conducive Environment Support Facility, with a total amount of about $ 161 million. It also considered the situation on the international financial market, the financing conditions available and the appropriate approach to be adopted taking account of external financing needs, including the issue of a loan on behalf of the Tunisian State on the international financial market.
Following discussion and deliberation on the aforementioned points, the Board decided to keep unchanged the key interest rate of the Central Bank of Tunisia.