Lebanon Economic Forecast

Lebanon Economic Outlook

October 5, 2021

Economic conditions remained grim in the third quarter, with the PMI decreasing through August amid ongoing currency depreciation, political instability and acute shortages of fuel and other basic goods. That said, stronger tourism and economic recoveries abroad should have provided some support. To help alleviate the burden from the punishing energy crisis, Jordan has recently discussed ways to expedite gas delivery to Lebanon. Moreover, after over a year without a fully functioning administration, a new government was announced in mid-September. Since then, Prime Minister Najib Mikati has resumed talks with the IMF over much-needed financial aid. However, international financial support remains largely conditional on reforms.

Lebanon Economic Growth

The economy is forecast to contract again this year, before emerging from recession next year. However, growth in 2022 will be partly due to a favorable base effect after years of falling output. Moreover, the balance of risks remains tilted to the downside amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, social unrest and doubts over the government’s commitment to reforms. Our panelists see the economy contracting 7.3% in 2021 and expanding 3.0% in 2022, which is down 0.2 percentage points from last month’s forecast.

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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