In a statement issued yesterday, the Tunisian Central Bank announced that its foreign exchange reserves had increased to $7.1bn, an increase of 50% on the same period last year.
There are numerous reasons cited for the increase over the past year, but the main recent increase has been related to fall in the price of oil (the country is a net importer, importing more than half of its needs) as well as a fall in demand of oil, given the slowdown in activity following the enforced lockdown the country has been under the last ten days.
Economic slowdown has also reduced the import of other goods. The positive news will be overshadowed by economic damage from the synchronised global slowdown as a result of COVID-19 and expected fall in tourism (which accounts for approximately 10% of GDP).
The country has been struggling to get back on its feet economically speaking following the Arab Spring.
Following this latest shock, the recent government has applied a number of fiscal measures to assist companies and the most vulnerable in society in a stimulus package estimated to be worth $850m
This will be part financed by a $250m aid package from the European Union.