Lebanon’s debt now comprises 143 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product, the central bank announces.
Banque Du Liban says the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio jumped from 130 per cent to 143 per cent and is expected to increase by $4 billion in the current year, Al-Mustaqbal reports.
In the report, the bank says that, for a fourth consecutive year, the Lebanese economy was unable to avert the adverse impact of the internal political standoff and security incidents or regional turmoil, namely the raging crisis in neighbouring Syria.
Furthermore, the bank adds, the main economic indicators such as foreign trade, tourism, investments and consumption have been on a downward trend since 2011.
However, Lebanon’s economy managed to deliver a real growth rate of 2 per cent in 2014, while inflation remained below 4 per cent.
The bank notes that the national economy managed to grow last year because of solid fiscal policy, a strong financial sector and constant inflow of expatriates’ remittances.
Lebanon’s public debt is projected to hit a massive $71bn by the end of the current year from the current $66.1bn, according to earlier remarks by the country’s Minister of Finance, Ali Hasan Khalil.