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Alarming economic indicators in Lebanon whilst government is busy

13-7-2017

Eight months passed since the formation of the government which has yet to produce a readjustment economic plan for the country. In the meantime, latest statistics have shown worrying indicators about the economic situation. According to the Association of Banks in Lebanon (ABL), the overall public debt grew by the end of April 2017, to USD 76.9 billion, compared to USD 74.89 billion at the end of 2016. In other words, the public debt increased by USD 2 billion during the first three months of the present year against a USD 1.3 billion increase in the first 1/3 of 2016. Moreover, the balance of payments continues to register a cumulative deficit despite a decline from the past year. In this respect, Byblos Bank weekly monitor said the balance of payments posted a cumulative deficit at USD 357.6 million in five months, against a cumulative deficit at USD one billion and 67 million during the same period of last year. In parallel, a report published by the World Bank three weeks ago, anticipated a 2.5% increase in the average economic growth in Lebanon during 2017, with an accelerated pace of the overall real GDP growth at 2.6% during 2018 and 2019. (Al Mustaqbal, Al Diyar, Al Akhbar, June 24 and 25, July 11, 2017)

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