Lebanon Economic Forecast

Lebanon Economic Outlook

February 6, 2018

A return to the political status quo following Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri’s now-rescinded resignation in November should prove beneficial for the economy, and early data from January appeared to confirm the expected uptick in sentiment. January’s PMI hit a nine-month high as the reverberating effects of last year’s political crisis began fading away, with output and sales metrics improving, and business confidence ticking up. Following the breakthrough announcement that this year’s parliamentary elections would be held on 6 May, Al-Hariri outlined in mid-January a new ten-year, USD 16 billion public infrastructure program set to upgrade the country’s crumbling transport, water and power networks.

Lebanon Economic Growth

The recent improvement in domestic political stability bodes well for Lebanon’s economic prospects this year, although the country’s mettle will again be tested in the run-up to May’s elections. Battered public coffers will continue to hamper the government’s ability to stimulate economic growth over the medium term, and the possible deterioration of ongoing regional conflicts will continue to cloud the domestic outlook. FocusEconomics panelists expect growth of 2.0% in 2018, up 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 2.6% 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 Rate1,5130.0 %Feb 22
Stock Market1,1760.37 %Feb 22

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