Tunisia said on Thursday its economy grew 4.8 percent in the first quarter compared to the same period in 2011, when weeks of protests ousted veteran leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and hit the economy.

Gross domestic product in the North African country was up a more modest 1.2 percent compared to the last quarter of 2011.

Tunisia's economy shrank 1.8 percent in 2011 as political instability closed factories and spooked tourists and investors.

Its finance ministry has set 3.5 percent as its growth target for 2012, rowing back on early hopes that the economy would bounce back with more than 4.5 percent growth. - Reuters