We no longer know on what footing we should dance in this country. National institutions sometimes present conflicting balances. Better yet, national balances do not coincide with international reality. Where is Tunisia today according to official figures?
The Tunisian Investment Authority (Tia) has just published a diluted report on the investments declared over 15 million dinars for the first half of 2022. The institution has thus identified the declaration of fifteen projects for a cumulative investment framework of 2,231.1 million dinars which enables the creation of 4,295 jobs, thus recording a significant increase of 280% in terms of investment, which is explained by the statement of a cement plant project at an investment cost of 950 million dinars (MD) during the month of March 2022. Excluding this investment operation, the investments would registered until May 2022 have registered an increase of 118%.
At the same time, the Agency for the Promotion of Industry and Innovation (Apii) has just published its report for the five months of 2022 for notified investments in the industrial sector and shows a decrease of 8.1%, the investments go from 987.7 MD to 907.5 MD. The number of notified projects has also decreased by 9.3%, from 1,424 to 1,292 projects in the same period, enabling the creation of 19,883 jobs compared to 19,731 jobs a year earlier (+ 0.8%).
The Agency also specifies that investments related to projects costing more than 5 MD, recorded a decrease of 12.4% from 595.2 MD to 521.4 MD in the same period mentioned above.
Radio silence from the Foreign Investment Promotion Agency (Fipa), the last report published is for the first quarter of 2022, but which in turn is very flattering with a 73% increase in foreign investment reaching 596 MD against 344, 6 MD.
Foreign investment balance for first quarter 2022 in MD
On the inflation side, the consumer price index is experiencing significant increases everywhere and reaching peaks that have not been reached in 20, 30 or even 40 years.
In the US, inflation reached 9.1% in June over a year, the sharpest price increase since 1981. Ditto for the UK, where inflation also reached 9.1% in May over a year to reach its highest level since March 1982 For euro area as a whole, european statistical institute eurostat reports inflation of 8.6% in june, over the last 12 months. A level not seen since the start of the publication of the indicator in January 1997.
Overview of international inflation rates according to Global-rates website
In Tunisia, the National Institute of Statistics (INS) estimates that inflation reached 8.1% in June 2022, a rate not reached for more than thirty years. The problem is that experts agree that the curve no longer corresponds to the real consumption of Tunisians, the latest update dates from 2015 (seven years, while the norm is five years).
Inflation in Tunisia from 1984 to June 2022
On the foreign trade side, INS contented itself with a brief summary in May 2022, whereas for several months it had been accustomed to preparing a detailed report at the current price and a detailed report at the fixed price at the end of each month. . What’s worse, it’s July 14th today, and the institute has not yet released the figures for June, whereas its benefits generally do not exceed the date of the 9th of the month.
It must be said that the latest figures were worrying with a worsening of the trade deficit of 67.13%. The trade balance was -9,929.4 MD against -5,941.1 MD in the five months of 2021. The coverage ratio lost 5.7 points compared to the same period of the year 2021 to 70.1%.
Gold and for two days the euro is on an equal footing with the dollar, the first since the introduction of the European currency twenty years ago. Something that will have a greater impact on the situation in Tunisia, as imports generally take place in dollars, while exports take place in euros. The fall of the euro against the dollar will certainly increase the country’s trade deficit further.
By correlating all these factors with the country’s budgetary difficulties, the absence of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the consequences of the war in Ukraine (imported inflation, rise in commodity prices, rise in energy prices rise in cereals, vegetable oils and several food products), the situation in Tunisia is likely to worsen. However, given the lack of viability due to the information published in small and large quantities, no one has a precise idea of the real situation in Tunisia.
Are national institutions trying to embellish the figures for the Tunisian economy? Faced with the lack of information, the conflicting figures between them and with the international situation, it is now becoming legitimate to question the reliability of the indicators presented.