November 8, 2018 / 3:23 PM / 13 days ago

Tunisia trade deficit widens to record $5.5 billion

Tunisian Employees work at an underwear factory in Sfax, 260 km (162 miles) south of Tunis, file. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi

TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisia’s trade deficit widened by 2‮1‬ percent year-on-year in the first 1‮0‬ months of 201‮8‬ to a record 15.9 billion dinars ($5.52 billion), state news agency TAP said on Thursday.

The deficit is one of the main problems facing the government of Prime Minister Youssef Chahed as it grapples with an economic crisis.

It has contributed to a slide in Tunisia’s foreign currency reserves, which are now enough to pay for only 82 days of imports.

Praised for its successful democratic transition after a 2011 uprising, Tunisia has struggled with tough economic reforms to reduce public spending agreed with its international lenders.

($1 = 2.8811 Tunisian dinars)

Reporting By Tarek Amara; Editing by Ulf Laessing

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