Press release of the BCT Executive Board meeting held on 10 December 2018

The Central Bank of Tunisia’s Executive Board held its periodic meeting on 10 December and considers the different points scheduled on its agenda. In the beginning of its works, the Board went over trends in economic, monetary and financial indicators and noted, mainly, the ongoing positive trend of growth over the third quarter of the current year and the inflation rate’s standing at 7.4%, in annual shift over November 2018 for the third month in a row, in line notably with the easing of foodstuff prices.

As for the external sector, the Board expressed its concern about the trade balance deficit’s continuous widening which reached 16 billion dinars for the first ten months of the current year, in line mainly with the energy deficit’s deterioration. This widening led to a further worsening of the current deficit (9.2% of GDP against 8.9% over the first ten months of 2017). Yet, the mobilisation of a debenture loan on the international capital market over October 2018 helped to relatively boost the level of net assets in foreign currency.

As regards bank liquidity, the Board noted with concern the ongoing intensification of banks’ needs for liquidity and recommends to follow up and assess the outcomes of recent measures to this effect.

On the other hand, the Board took note of both the monetary policy Committee’s and the Permanent audit Committee’s recommendations, as well as of the broad outlines of the BCT’s first strategic plan 2019-2021.

Following discussions and deliberations on the above-mentioned points, the Board underlined the need to carry on with a close follow up of trends in financial and monetary indicators and decided to keep unchanged the Central Bank’s key interest rate.