Tunisian economy shrank by 21.6%

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Tunisia’s tourism-dependent economy shrank 21.6 % in the second quarter of 2020, compared to the same period last year, due to the coronavirus crisis, the state statistics institute said on Saturday.

Unemployment rose to 18 percent in the second quarter.

The government ended all restrictions on movement and businesses and opened its sea, land and air borders on June 27. However, the pandemic is hammering the tourism sector, which contributes nearly 10% of gross domestic product and is a key source of foreign currency.

Tourism revenue in the first six months of this year fell by more than 50% from the same period of 2019 as western tourists deserted Tunisia’s hotels and resorts.