September 30, 2019 / 1:48 PM / 19 days ago

Tunisia's budget will rise in 2020 to $16.4 billion

TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisia’s state budget will rise from 40 billion dinars in 2019 to 47 billion dinars in 2020 ($16.4 billion), Finance Minister Ridha Chalgoum said on Monday, according to the state news agency TAP.

The budget targets a deficit in 2020 of 3% of gross domestic product, compared with the 3.9% that Prime Minister Youssef Chahed has said is expected this year, and the 7.4% recorded three years ago.

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.

Chahed has said inflation will drop to about 5% next year from a high of 7.8% last year.

Tunisia’s weak economy is a big theme in elections set for this month and next. Tourism, an important source of foreign currency, has begun to recover four years after two militant attacks that killed scored of foreigners.

Reporting by Tarek Amara, editing by Larry King

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