Most of the Tunisian population is made up of the middle class. This not only maintains the stability of the economy but also improves the living environment of citizens. This change in living conditions in Tunisia is due to a State policy promoting the increase in well-being and the gains of the population via bank loans.
Consumers can have more or less easy access to a home loan, car loan, work credit, consumer credit, etc. This recourse to bank loans has the effect of plunging hundreds of thousands of Tunisian families into debt. At the origin of this situation which risks unbalancing the banking sector in Tunisia, we find the “unrestrained consumption” of this middle class. Decryption.
The rise in bank loans
The central bank of Tunisia has published figures concerning the doubling of credits granted to Tunisians during this decade. In 2010, the amount of bank loans granted to Tunisian families was around 10.7 billion dollars. However, the month of March last year, it almost doubled, which is 20.8 billion dollars. Home loans or home improvement loans cut the lion’s share of this amount up to 85%, or $ 17.7 billion).
Households also make consumer loans, the total amount of which is 2.6 billion dollars for the last year, as well as car loans of 2.93 million dollars. Thus, for the year alone between 2003 and 2008, there was an increase of more than 300,000 people or households in debt (in 2008, they were 800,000 out of a total of 2.7 million Tunisian families). And between 2003 to 2009, the consumer loan also doubled from 0.1 billion to 1.9 billion dollars. And for the same period, the mortgage loan tripled, from 2 billion to 6.4 billion dollars.
A consumption mode turned towards a more spending policy
For the past decade, the national survey on the standard of living, income, and expenditure of each Tunisian family has revealed an improvement in the living conditions of the population. Access to essential services is also improved. The middle class, which can spend between 4000 and 2250 dollars, represents 18.45% of the population. An interesting indicator of the rising standard of living for residents.
But it should not be forgotten that 60% of this category of the middle class receives a monthly salary not exceeding 800 dollars per month.
Loans granted by banks have continued to increase, increasing by 5.7% in 2015 to 9.9% in 2017. For consumer loans only, they have increased by 7% per year since 2010 An excessive phenomenon of indebtedness which has a harmful effect on the rate of family savings which knows a fall of 2.5% between 2010 to 2014. To come back to this trend in household indebtedness, we can explain this by a socio-economic change in Tunisia. The rise in living standards has an impact on consumption patterns.