- The BCT
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The Board held its periodic meeting on 28 October 2019 and examined issues scheduled in its agenda, notably recent economic, monetary and financial evolutions. It underlined in particular the slow pace of economic growth, the rate of which should not exceed 1.4% for the whole of 2019, mainly in line with weak performance of export-oriented and extracting activities’ sectors.
As for trend in prices, the Board noted the stabilization of the inflation rate at around 6.7% in annual shift over September 2019, following some easing of food prices and services. Core inflation (excluding food and fresh products) also continued to fall in the same month to 6.9% vs. 7% in August 2019.
As for the external sector, the Board considered the continuing decline in the current deficit during the first nine months of the current year, coming to 6.4% of GDP compared to 8% for the same period of the previous year. This is due to the slowing pace of the trade deficit widening, as well as the significant increase in tourist receipts and transfers of Tunisians living abroad.
Net assets in foreign currency firmed up significantly, coming up to 18,506 MTD or 104 days of imports on 25 October 2019 compared to 13,974 MTD or 84 days at the end of 2018. Also, the exchange rate of the dinar continued to improve against the euro and the dollar, in line with surplus liquidity on the foreign exchange market.
On another level, The Board reviewed also the recommendations from the Monetary Policy Committee and the Standing Audit Committee and examined also the new measures for consolidating control and strengthening compliance with governance standards.
After discussions and deliberations on the above-mentioned points, the Board underlined that the monetary and the foreign exchange policies recently adopted by the Central Bank have contributed to achievement of the set target, thanks to better main monetary and financial indicators, in particular in terms of inflation, current deficit and refinancing volume, stressing in this context the need to combine efforts to accelerate the pace of growth, by setting the appropriate economic policies to achieve a sound growth and restore the global balances of the economy. Hence, the Board decided to keep unchanged the key interest rate of the Central Bank of Tunisia.