View of containers at a loading terminal in the port of Rades in Tunis

Tunisia sees 2019 economic growth rising to 3.5 pct

TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisia expects economic growth to accelerate to 3.5 percent of next year from the 2.9 percent expected in 2018, driven by a recovery of the tourism industry and an expanding agricultural sector, a minister told Reuters on Wednesday.

Minister of Reforms Taoufik Rajhi also said the government planned to reduce the budget deficit to 3.9 percent next year from the 4.9 percent forecast for 2018.

The key tourism sector has begun to recover three years after two militant attacks which killed scored of foreigners.

Its revenue from the start of the year to August 20 rose to 2.3 billion dinars ($836 million), up 48 percent over the same period last year.

Tunisia expects to receive eight million tourists for the first time in 2018, officials have said.

The North African country's economy has been in crisis since the toppling of autocrat Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011 threw it into turmoil, with unemployment and inflation shooting up.

($1 = 2.7504 Tunisian dinars)

(Reporting By Tarek Amara; editing by John Stonestreet)

2018-08-29 15:15:19

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