Lebanon Economic Forecast

Lebanon Economic Outlook

March 5, 2019

Economic growth likely remained anemic in Q4 2018 as construction permits and cement deliveries decreased. However, the Central Bank’s monthly economic activity index ticked upwards in Q4 compared to Q3. Meanwhile, parliament backed the new government’s mission statement in mid-February and the cabinet reaffirmed its commitment to reforming public finances and the economy. This should prop up investor confidence in the ailing economy and help unlock vast sums of donor funds pledged at a Paris conference last April. Commenting on developments, Moody’s stated in early February that the formation of the government was positive for the country’s credit rating, although downside risks remain abound.

Lebanon Economic Growth

Much-needed reform should boost the economy by unlocking billions of U.S. dollars in donor funds, shoring up public finances and improving investor and consumer confidence. However, the large twin deficits and a sky-high public debt burden pose significant downside risks. Our panelist expect the economy to grow 1.7% in 2019, down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 2.3% in 2020.

Lebanon Economy Data

20132014201520162017
Population (million)4.44.44.44.54.5
GDP per capita (USD)11,37111,80211,18811,293-  
GDP (USD bn)45.947.849.550.4-  
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)2.62.00.81.0-  
Unemployment Rate6.26.26.26.26.3
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-8.7-6.0-7.3-9.2-7.3
Public Debt (% of GDP)138139142151153
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)1.1-0.7-3.43.15.0
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)4.81.9-3.8-0.84.5
Exchange Rate (vs USD)1,5081,5081,5081,5081,508
Current Account (% of GDP)-26.7-28.1-19.6-23.3-  
Trade Balance (USD billion)-15.3-17.5-15.0-15.4-15.9
Exports (USD billion)5.24.54.03.94.0
Imports (USD billion)20.522.119.019.419.9
Exports (annual variation in %)-7.9-12.2-12.5-1.32.4
Imports (annual variation in %)0.87.7-14.12.12.8
International Reserves (USD)36.739.538.843.343.5
External Debt (% of GDP)67.462.662.463.4-  

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Lebanon Facts

ValueChangeDate
Exchange Rate1,5080.0 %Mar 11
Stock Market9760.37 %Mar 11

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