Lebanon Economic Forecast

Lebanon Economic Outlook

May 8, 2018

Amid regional conflicts, Lebanon held its first elections in nearly a decade on 6 May. Although voter turnout was relatively low, the result proved a blow to Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri and his Saudi-backed Future Movement party: According to early results on 7 May, Iran-backed Hezbollah and its political allies secured over half of the seats in parliament. Al-Hariri is likely to remain in his post, however, as the constitution stipulates the prime minister must be a Sunni Muslim. Coalition formation is expected to be a lengthy process, and a new coalition will have its work cut out: Lebanon has one of the highest levels of public debt in the world, and its fiscal shortfall is unsustainable.

Lebanon Economic Growth

The possibility of a flare-up in social tensions remains present, and the fallout from the elections could dent investor confidence, dragging on economic activity. The big fiscal shortfall remains a risk to the outlook, and economic growth is expected to remain underwhelming. Met the why particular panelists expect growth of 2.0% in 2018, down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 2.5% in 2019.

Lebanon Economy Data

20132014201520162017
Population (million)4.54.54.64.64.6
GDP per capita (USD)11,54311,78811,023-  -  
GDP (USD bn)47.148.750.2-  -  
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)3.01.81.5-  -  
Unemployment Rate6.5-  6.56.8-  
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-8.7-6.0-7.3-  -  
Public Debt (% of GDP)134134142148-  
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)1.1-0.73.1-  -  
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)4.81.9-3.8-0.8-  
Exchange Rate (vs USD)1,5071,5111,5081,508-  
Current Account (% of GDP)-23.8-23.1-16.9-  -  
Trade Balance (USD billion)-15.3-16.6-13.1-13.6-  
Exports (USD billion)5.24.54.03.9-  
Imports (USD billion)20.521.117.117.6-  
Exports (annual variation in %)-7.9-12.2-11.4-1.2-  
Imports (annual variation in %)0.83.1-19.02.8-  
International Reserves (USD)36.739.538.843.3-  
External Debt (% of GDP)65.661.561.5-  -  

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Lebanon Facts

ValueChangeDate
Exchange Rate1,5140.0 %May 21
Exchange Rate1,5140.0 %May 21
Stock Market1,1280.37 %May 21
Stock Market1,1280.37 %May 21

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