Tunisia 2012 budget gap likely at least 6 per cent of GDP

Reuters, Saturday 10 Dec 2011

Finance minister says government will avoid further widening so as not to lose its investment grade

Tunisia's budget deficit is likely to widen to at least 6 per cent of GDP next year and the government aims to avoid further widening to protect its investment grade credit rating, the country's finance minister said on Thursday.

"This year we are going to end up with a budget deficit of 4 per cent, next year we will be very lucky if we end up with 6 per cent," Jalloul Ayed told a conference.

"We don't want the budget deficit to increase to 8-9-10 pct because if that were to be the case, Tunisia could lose its investment grade, we don't want that."

Tunisia has the lowest investment grade rating and is on negative outlook with all three major ratings agencies.  

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