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WB forecasts Lebanon growth at 2.5 per cent in 2016

Decline in oil and commodities prices reflected positively on cost of imports and financial reserves

The World Bank has said that Lebanon’s economy is projected to expand by only 2.5 per cent in 2016, but will pick up again in 2018 to reach three per cent.

Growth is forecast to stabilise in 2017, according to a report published by Al Hayat newspaper.

The report indicates that Lebanon benefitted from the decline in oil and commodities prices, which positively reflected on the cost of imports and financial reserves.

The report assured that public finance would not suffer any contractions in the future. It also shed light on the impact of the war raging in Syria on Lebanon’s economy, specifically on trade, investment and tourism.

There are 1.1 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, comprising 25 per cent of the country’s population.

The World Bank said political tensions and the presidential vacuum since the past year make it difficult to introduce the necessary reforms.

According to statistics, inbound capital retreated by 33 per cent in the first half of the current year.

The report also reveals that expatriates’ earnings comprise 16 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product in 2014.