chapter  8
Trade, finance and competitiveness in Tunisia
ByMustapha K. Nabli, Mejda Bahlous, Mohamed Bechri, Marouane El Abbassi, Riadh El Ferktaji, Bechir Talbi
Pages 35

GDP growth fluctuated widely, however, with major swings in the current account balance (Figure 8.1). Agricultural production fluctuations, due to variability in rainfall and terms of trade changes, account for a major part of GDP growth fluctuations, with their effect declining with increased diversification of the economy. Different patterns in growth and the current account are discernable over the periods 1972-80, 1981-6, 1987-9 and 1990-7 (Table 8.1). After a surge in the 1970s, growth declined and the current account deficit increased. A major episode was the balance-of-payments crisis in 1985-6 which followed a period of large current account deficit (8.4 per cent of GDP during 1981-6), a significant decline in terms of trade because of the sharp decline in oil prices and poor productivity growth.