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The Board held its periodic meeting on 30 August 2019 and examined issues scheduled in its agenda. It analyzed the economic, monetary and financial evolutions, including recent data on economic growth, which reached 1.2% in the second quarter of 2019 in annual shift compared to 1. 1% in the first quarter in line mainly with a consolidation of activity of the agricultural sector, thanks to a record level cereal crop, as well as services, in the wake of good tourist season. It should be noted that growth rate would have reached a higher level had it not been for the decline in the industrial sector's performance due to a drop in the production of fuel on the one hand and flat external demand on the other hand.
The Board underlined also the decrease in the inflation rate to 6.5% in annual shift over July 2019, compared to 6.8% in the previous month, due in particular to the deceleration in the prices of manufacturing industries and services. In addition, and after having reached relatively high levels in recent months, growth pace in core inflation (inflation excluding administered and fresh products) decelerated in July to 7.3% against 7.6% in June 2019.
In addition, the Board reviewed the latest trends in the external sector and noted the reduction in the current account deficit to 5.7% of GDP in the first seven months of the current year, compared to 6.1 % in the same period of last year, mainly as a result of improved tourist receipts and labor income.
In this context, net assets in foreign currency were consolidated, coming to 17,399 MTD, or 97 days of imports on 29 August, compared to 13.974 MTD or 84 days at the end of 2018. On the other hand, the dinar exchange rate has improved against the main currencies, notably the euro and the dollar.
The Board considered also the developments of the Central Bank's activity with respect to foreign currency reserves over the first half of 2019.
The board examined also the files related to the development of the Central Bank’s internal procedures and provisions and this, in the framework of the implementation of its new strategy.
After discussions and deliberations on the above-mentioned issues, the Board underlined that despite signs of improvement of the main economic, monetary and financial indicators to which the monetary policy adopted by the Central Bank of Tunisia has contributed, it remains essential to closely follow up the evolution of these indicators; and decided to keep unchanged the key interest rate of the Central Bank of Tunisia.