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Private companies in a downward spiral


The leading Blominvest PMI Index for August has shown that the operating conditions of private sector companies in the country have continued to deteriorate, albeit at a slower pace since January 2016. According to the above index, the production rate of Lebanese private sector businesses continued to fall in the middle of the third quarter of the current year, despite an ease in contraction for the third consecutive month. Noting that the latest reduction was the weakest since January 2016. Survey respondents attributed this to the political instability which contributed to weakening economic demand. On the other hand, new orders placed with private sector firms contracted at a laxer rate during the month of August, but was slightly less critical than in July. International sales dropped at the fastest pace in five months, noting that the decrease was modest overall and softer than the average rate. The PMI index indicated that the number of staff at private sector companies in Lebanon remained unchanged in the middle of the third quarter, which resulted in ending a 17month sequence of contraction in the workforce. Notwithstanding, companies continued to reduce their purchasing activity but at a lower rate compared to rates recorded since January 2018. (Al Akhbar, September 11, 2019)

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