Lebanon Economic Forecast

Lebanon Economic Outlook

June 7, 2022

Economic conditions remain challenging. During the first four months of 2022, the private-sector PMI was in contractionary territory—while remaining higher than the average reading for 2021—and inflation averaged over 200%. Moreover, the war in Ukraine is hitting an already strained food supply, as the vast majority of wheat imported into Lebanon before the war came from Ukraine. The recent approval of a USD 150 million World Bank loan will only go part way to ensuring short-term food security. Meanwhile, general elections were held in mid-May. Hezbollah and its allies lost their parliamentary majority, with over a dozen anti-establishment candidates elected and the Lebanese Forces emerging as the largest party. A fractured parliament and the confessional power-sharing arrangement mean that the appointment of a new prime minister and president will take time, delaying the arrival of IMF support.

Lebanon Economic Growth

The economy is now seen stagnating in 2022, after a string of downgrades by our panelists in recent months. Hyperinflation and shortages of basic goods mean conditions will remain extremely challenging. The prompt formation of a government and the implementation of reforms will be key to stabilizing activity, but the country’s recent history suggests the former is unlikely. Our panelists see the economy expanding 0.1% in 2022, which is down 0.2 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 2.3% in 2023.

Lebanon Economy Data

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Population (million)5.96.06.16.16.1
GDP per capita (USD)8,5418,5308,7799,2948,803
GDP (USD bn)50.051.253.456.653.4
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)0.41.60.9-1.9-5.6
Unemployment Rate6.26.36.16.26.2
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-7.9-9.6-7.0-11.0-10.9
Public Debt (% of GDP)141146150155171
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)-3.43.15.04.07.0
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)-3.7-0.84.46.12.9
Exchange Rate (vs USD)1,5081,5081,5101,5121,509
Current Account (% of GDP)-17.1-20.4-22.7-23.6-  
Trade Balance (USD billion)-13.6-14.0-14.4-15.1-  
Exports (USD billion)4.03.94.03.8-  
Imports (USD billion)17.617.918.418.9-  
Exports (annual variation in %)-12.5-1.22.5-4.8-  
Imports (annual variation in %)-14.12.12.82.5-  
International Reserves (USD)38.843.343.540.638.2
External Debt (% of GDP)135138139140-  

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Lebanon Facts

Value Change Date
Exchange Rate1,5130.0 %Dec 31

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