Tunisia’s gross domestic product shrank 3 percent in the first quarter of 2021 from a year ago, the State Statistics Institute said on Saturday, showing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the country’s tourism industry.
Tourism accounts for about 8 percent of Tunisia’s GDP and is a major source of foreign currency. In the first quarter of 2020, Tunisia’s GDP had contracted 1.7 percent from the same period a year earlier.
Tunisia, which has seen its debt burden rise and economy shrink by 8.8 percent last year in real terms, has started talks with the International Monetary Fund to seek a financial assistance package.
The State Statistics Institute said that unemployment rates are at 17.8 percent, amid an unprecedented economic crisis in the country, which led to a record fiscal deficit of more than 11 percent in 2020.