The Institute of International Finance lowered its forecast for Lebanon’s economic growth rate in 2015 from 2.2 per cent in April to 1.1 per cent as a result of unexpected slowdown in economic activity.
The institute says that inflationary pressures continued during the first seven months of the current year driven by shrinking local demand and lower cost of imports and goods.
Furthermore, the consumption index retreated by 3.9 per cent in July compared with the same period last year, according to a report published by Al-Mustaqbal.
The organisation expects that inflation will edge up to an average of 2.9 per cent in 2015, as against 1.9 per cent in 2014.
The report projects that the Lebanese central bank’s reserve of hard currencies to surge to $40.2 billion from the $39.5bn recorded in 2014.
Resident deposits grew by 10.7 per cent in June. According to the report, the country’s current account deficit is forecast to decline to 15.5 per cent from 21.6 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).
By the end of July, Lebanon’s total public debt inched up by 5.4 per cent, compared with the same period last year, to stand at $69.2bn in July.
($1 = AED3.67, at the time of publishing)