Lebanon Economic Forecast

Lebanon Economic Outlook

November 28, 2017

On 4 November, Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his resignation from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, plunging Lebanon into political uncertainty and sparking concerns that he was being forced to resign by the kingdom amid escalating tensions between Saudi Arabia and regional rival Iran. By 22 November, after returning to Beirut, Hariri had put his resignation on hold and implied that he would withdraw it altogether if Hezbollah would commit to staying out of the region’s conflicts. Tensions with Saudi Arabia are high, and Lebanon remains vulnerable. As many as 400,000 nationals work in the Gulf and send home remittances. Moreover, Saudi Arabia holds considerable deposits at Lebanon’s Central Bank. Domestically, October’s PMI hit a one-year low as output sharply declined.

Lebanon Economic Growth

Recent events are expected to shake consumer and investor confidence, just as the economic recovery had been gaining steam. Furthermore, concerns are mounting over next year’s parliamentary elections. Although the government passed a budget in October, the country will face an uphill battle in the years to come as it tackles the crushing debt burden. Panelists expect growth of 2.4% in 2018, down 0.2 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 2.7% in 2019.

Lebanon Economy Data

Population (million)
GDP per capita (USD)9,99610,54310,78811,023-  
GDP (USD bn)  
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)  
Unemployment Rate6.26.5-  6.56.8
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-8.4-8.7-6.0-7.3-  
Public Debt (% of GDP)131134134142148
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)10.11.1-0.73.1-  
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)
Exchange Rate (vs USD)1,5041,5071,5101,5081,508
Current Account (% of GDP)-21.6-23.8-23.1-16.9-  
Trade Balance (USD billion)-14.7-15.3-16.6-13.1-13.6
Exports (USD billion)
Imports (USD billion)20.320.521.117.117.6
Exports (annual variation in %)3.7-7.9-12.2-11.4-1.2
Imports (annual variation in %)
International Reserves (USD)37.236.739.538.843.3
External Debt (% of GDP)65.965.661.561.5-  

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Lebanon Facts

Exchange Rate1,5110.0 %Dec 06
Stock Market1,1120.37 %Dec 06

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