Lebanon inflation rose to 4.7 % in April

Lebanon’s inflation rate rose to 4.7 percent year-on-year in April largely due to increases in the costs of transportation and utilities, figures from the government statistics department showed.

The consumer price index rose 0.6 percent in April compared to the previous month.

The statistics department figures showed transportation costs rose by 15.3 percent year-on-year in April while water, electricity, gas and other fuels increased by 13.9 percent.

Central bank governor Riad Salameh said last week that inflation is expected to remain between 4-5 percent this year.

He also expected the Lebanese economy to grow by 7-8 percent this year, revised from a previous 5 percent forecast.

A 2011 draft budget circulated by the finance ministry earlier this week saw inflation easing to 3.2 percent by the end of 2011.

Price growth fell sharply last year, hovering between 1.5 and 4 percent throughout 2009 after peaking at 14 percent in 2008.

Finance Minister Raya Haffar al-Hassan has said Lebanon’s economic growth could rise to as much as 8 percent if structural reforms and delayed privatisation plans are implemented.

Reuters