The Winter 2021 Edition of the World Bank’s Tunisia Economic Monitor “Economic Reforms to Navigate out of the Crisis” estimates a slow economic recovery from COVID-19, with projected growth of 3% in 2021. The report outlines how the weak recovery puts pressure on Tunisia’s already strained public finances, with the budget deficit still elevated at 7.6% in 2021, despite a small contraction from 9.4% in 2020. The budget deficit is projected to gradually decline, reaching 5% to 7% of GDP in 2022-23, given the expected reduction in health-related expenditures and provided that the moderately positive spending and revenue trajectory is maintained. However, Tunisia’s rising public debt will be hard to finance without decisive public finance and economic reforms, the report noted.
The first chapter of the report analyzes potential factors behind Tunisia’s slow economic recovery. The second chapter elaborates on key barriers to competition, arguing that Tunisia’s current regulatory environment restricts competition and discourages the development of new businesses.