Moody’s expects Lebanon’s economy to grow 2.8 % this year

moody'sRating agency Moody’s forecast Lebanon’s economy will grow 2.8 percent in 2018, slightly faster than last year thanks to the resumption of long-delayed public investment projects.

The forecast revises down Moody’s previous forecast, published in September, for 3.0 percent growth in 2018. It also cut its growth estimate for 2017 to 2.5 percent, which is in line with the Lebanese central bank’s forecast, from 2.8 percent.

Lebanon, where crumbling infrastructure has not been overhauled since the end of a 15-year civil war in 1990, has plans for a 10-year $16 billion capital investment programme.

Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri said on Monday the plan’s 250 projects would tackle transport, water and power among other sectors and aim to raise growth to 6-7 percent a year.

The country’s economy has been battered by six years of war in neighbouring Syria and by simmering political divisions. Growth has slowed from an average of 8 percent before the Syrian conflict began in 2011.

Lebanon also has one of the world’s highest ratios of debt to gross domestic product, around 140 percent.

Moody’s said it expects debt to approach 140 percent of GDP in 2018 and continue rising.

REUTERS

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    On Friday, April 6, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian
    announced that his country will allocate 550 million euros to provide
    economic assistance to Lebanon, reports Reuters.

    The message explains that 400 million euros will be allocated as
    concessional loans, and 150 million euros as free financial assistance.

    Note that Paris has decided to provide economic assistance to Lebanon,
    despite the fact that the government of this country did not comply
    with the requirement of the French leadership to withdraw the fighters
    of Hezbollah from Syria.

    Recall
    that in 2016, it is the inability of the Lebanese government to
    influence Hezbollah and ensure that the weapons delivered to the
    Lebanese army do not fall into the hands of terrorists, has caused the
    failure of a major deal to supply French arms, the guarantor for which
    was Saudi Arabia