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Macro Snapshot — Foreign investment in Tunisia increased by 73% in the first quarter; Mexican inflation at 21-year high

RIYADH: Foreign investment in Tunisia increased by 73% in the first three months of 2022 compared to the same period a year earlier, the Foreign Investment Promotion Agency reported, according to the official Tunisian news agency .

The EU said in March it planned to lend 450 million euros ($475 million) to support Tunisia’s budget and said it would invest 4 billion euros in coming years.

The North African country has requested international aid to support its strained public finances.

Mexican inflation

Mexican inflation is expected to have continued to climb in April, hitting highs not seen since January 2001, according to a Reuters poll, bolstering expectations that the central bank will raise its key rate again next week.

The median forecast from 11 analysts surveyed was that consumer price inflation would rise 7.72% in the year to April, well above the Bank of Mexico’s 3% target, more or less 1 percentage point.

Annual core inflation, which excludes some volatile food and energy items, hit 7.17% in April, also a 21-year high.

By comparison, headline inflation rose 7.45% on the year to March, while core inflation rose 6.78%.

UK income hit by high inflation

British individuals and businesses need to understand that income lost due to high inflation is unlikely to be recovered anytime soon, the Bank of England’s chief economist said on Friday in the latest warning from the central bank on the difficult times ahead.

A day after the BoE predicted inflation would top 10% later this year, causing a sharp economic slowdown – and possibly a recession – Huw Pill says the central bank is unable to protect people against soaring energy and commodity prices.

“What we buy is getting more expensive compared to what we sell,” Pill told an online business briefing hosted by the BoE.

“It involves a kind of pressure… on the real purchasing power of national residents in the UK. How is that distributed between companies, between employees, between pensioners, etc., monetary policy has not not much to say about it.

Austria’s Account Deficit

Austria’s current account balance has turned into a deficit in 2021 for the first time in 20 years as coronavirus-related travel restrictions have severely hurt tourism and Austrian investment abroad has increased, the Bank said on Friday. National of Austria.

The country recorded a current account deficit of 2.1 billion euros ($2.2 billion), or 0.5% of gross domestic product, a sharp change from a surplus of 7.2 billion. euros in 2020, the year the pandemic and the restrictions aimed at slowing it began in Europe. .

The impact of the pandemic on the global economy has “severely affected” Austrian trade in 2021, ONB Deputy Governor Gottfried Haber said in a statement, adding that many problems remain.

“Disrupted supply chains, rising energy prices and market volatility will also continue to affect the Austrian economy in the immediate future, as will the unpredictable consequences of the war in Ukraine,” he said. -he declares.

Global food prices ease

Global food prices fell slightly in April after hitting a record high in March, pushed down by vegetable oils and grains, the UN food agency said on Friday.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ food price index, which tracks the world’s most traded food commodities, averaged 158.5 points last month from a revised 159.7 up for March.

The March figure was previously set at 159.3.

“The slight decline in the index is a welcome relief, particularly for low-income, food-deficit countries, but food prices remain close to recent highs, reflecting continued market tensions and posing a challenge. to global food security for the most vulnerable,” said FAO Chief Economist Maximo Torero Cullen.

Although down month-on-month, April’s index was 29.8% higher than a year earlier, in part due to concerns about the impact of the invasion Russian from Ukraine.

(Contributed by Reuters)