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Tunisia's growth slows to 2%

Tunis - Tunisia's economic growth slowed to 2 percent year on year in the second quarter reflecting a broad-based slowdown, the state statistics institute said on Wednesday.

The economy had expanded by 2.2 percent in the first quarter of 2014.

The North African country has turned its attention to reviving its economy as it nears the completion of a transition to democracy three years after the 2011 revolution that ousted autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali.

The institute said Tunisia's economic growth rate slowed to 2.1 percent in the first half of 2014 compared to 2.5 percent in the first half of 2013.

Tunisia's budget deficit is set to rise to 8 percent of gross domestic product this year, from 6.8 percent last year, according to the government, mostly due to rising public worker wage costs and subsidies which remain from Ben Ali's rule.

The government is seeking a way to cut spending without triggering the kind of discontent that toppled Ben Ali, whose overthrow was caused partly by grievances over unemployment and high living costs.

The government forecasts Tunisia's economy will grow 3 percent in 2014. - Reuters

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