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Tunisia economy grew 1.5 percent in Q3

Tunisia's economy grew by 1.5 percent in the third quarter of the year but overall growth in 2011 will be close to zero, central bank governor Mustafa Kamel Nabli said on Thursday.

November 24, 2011 2:20 by

Tunisia’s revolution in January and the instability that followed it prompted many foreign tourists — one of the biggest sources of income — to cancel bookings.

“Net foreign currency reserves decreased by 20 percent, or 2.4 billion dinars, as of the end of Nov. 2011 from Dec. 2010,” Nabli told a banking conference in Beirut.

He said unemployment stood at 18.3 percent.

Tunisia’s draft budget, presented to the cabinet earlier this month, forecasts the economy to bounce back from this year’s slump and grow 4.5 percent in 2012. The North African country’s GDP grew 3.7 percent in 2010.

A moderate Islamist party won Tunisia’s first election since its revolution, and is expected to dominate a new coalition government. The party’s leaders have promised to pursue liberal, business-friendly economic policies. (Reporting by Mirna Sleiman; editing by Patrick Graham)

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