Tunisia – Tunisia’s inflation rate surges to record high
Location: Tunis, Tunisia
Source: A24 Tunisia
Restriction: A24 subscribers
The Tunisian National Institute for Statistics said the country’s annual inflation rate rose to 7.8% in May, from 7.5% in April.
It said that the Russian invasion of Ukraine and repercussions of Covid-19 pandemic have also contributed to price hikes of all products and services including imported energy.
Tunisian people are waiting for possible measures the central banks could take to control the soaring inflation as the bank board is expected to hold a meeting to discuss the possibility of adjusting its key interest rate.
Elias Al-Asmy, Central Director at the National Institute of Statistics, told A24 News Agency’s reporter that the inflation rate would have risen significantly if there were no fixed prices for some materials.
Economist and tax expert Muhammad Salih al-Ayari spoke to A24 and called for reviewing the country’s economic mechanisms and supporting domestic production.
Soundbite (Elias Al-Asmy – Central Director at the National Institute of Statistics ):
“In January 2022, inflation hit 6.7 then started to increase to 7 then to 7.2 then to 7.5 in last month and now it is 7.8. Products that are not provided by government subsidies increased by more than 10 percent. The inflation rate would have risen significantly if there were no fixed prices for some materials. This is a global phenomenon. Covid-19 pandemic repercussions and the war in Ukraine disrupted grain supply worldwide and caused prices to increase. Inflation in the European Union used to be 3 percent, but today it is around 8 percent. The Arab Monetary Fund said that the inflation rate in Arab countries in general is about 7.5 percent.
Soundbite (Habib Boumediene – Tunisian man):
“Purchasing power of citizens is the main problem. Even if prices are lower, people cannot live and buy goods with this purchasing power. However, when prices are on the rise, the budget would be imbalanced.”
Soundbite (Shadlia – Tunisian woman):
“The prices of all goods and products are skyrocketing. Citizens cannot buy anything.”
Soundbite (Noureddine – Tunisian man):
“The prices soared dramatically.”
Soundbite (Salaheddine – Tunisian man):
“The prices are very high, especially the prices of vegetables and foodstuffs. The poor and middle class cannot live in this country with low salaries. Only the rich can survive here.”
Soundbite (Muhammad Salih al-Ayari – economist and tax expert):
“The best way to control inflation in the country is to try to regulate the distribution channels as much as possible. When the central bank raises the interest rate, the consumption will reduce and thus indirectly reducing the inflation. But we cannot control “imported inflation”, as I call it, unless we review the economic mechanisms in Tunisia and support domestic production. This should give results in the medium and long term.”