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Lebanon: Economy

Economy Lebanon
Economy - overview:
The 1975-91 civil war seriously damaged Lebanon's economic infrastructure, cut national output by half, and all but ended Lebanon's position as a Middle Eastern entrepot and banking hub. Peace enabled the central government to restore control in Beirut, begin collecting taxes, and regain access to key port and government facilities. Economic recovery was helped by a financially sound banking system and resilient small- and medium-scale manufacturers. Family remittances, banking services, manufactured and farm exports, and international aid provided the main sources of foreign exchange. Lebanon's economy made impressive gains since the launch in 1993 of "Horizon 2000," the government's $20 billion reconstruction program. Real GDP grew 8% in 1994, 7% in 1995, 4% in 1996 and in 1997, but slowed to 1.2% in 1998, -1.6% in 1999, -0.6% in 2000, 0.8% in 2001, and 1.5% in 2002. During the 1990s annual inflation fell to almost 0% from more than 100%. Lebanon has rebuilt much of its war-torn physical and financial infrastructure. The government nonetheless faces serious challenges in the economic arena. It has funded reconstruction by borrowing heavily - mostly from domestic banks. In order to reduce the ballooning national debt, the re-installed HARIRI government began an economic austerity program to rein in government expenditures, increase revenue collection, and privatize state enterprises. The HARIRI government met with international donors at the Paris II conference in November 2002 to seek bilateral assistance restructuring its domestic debt at lower rates of interest. While privatization of state-owned enterprises had not occurred by the end of 2002, the government had successfully avoided a currency devaluation and debt default in 2002.
GDP:
purchasing power parity - $17.61 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
2% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $4,800 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 12%
industry: 21%
services: 67% (2000)
Population below poverty line:
28% (1999 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
3.5% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
1.5 million
note: in addition, there are as many as 1 million foreign workers (2001 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
services NA%, industry NA%, agriculture NA%
Unemployment rate:
18% (1997 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $3.1 billion
expenditures: $5.9 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)
Industries:
banking; food processing; jewelry; cement; textiles; mineral and chemical products; wood and furniture products; oil refining; metal fabricating
Industrial production growth rate:
NA%
Electricity - production:
6.728 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 97.2%
hydro: 2.8%
other: 0% (2001)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
7.44 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
1.183 billion kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
107,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA (2001)
Agriculture - products:
citrus, grapes, tomatoes, apples, vegetables, potatoes, olives, tobacco; sheep, goats
Exports:
$1 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities:
foodstuffs and tobacco, textiles, chemicals, precious stones, metal products, electrical products, jewelry, paper products
Exports - partners:
Switzerland 10.8%, Saudi Arabia 9%, UAE 8.6%, US 6.7%, Jordan 4.6%, Turkey 4.3% (2002)
Imports:
$6 billion f.o.b. (2002)
Imports - commodities:
foodstuffs, electrical products, vehicles, minerals, chemicals, textiles, fuels
Imports - partners:
Italy 11.3%, France 10.7%, Germany 8.4%, US 5.6%, Syria 5.4%, China 4.8%, Belgium 4.5%, UK 4.2% (2002)
Debt - external:
$9.3 billion (2002 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$3.5 billion (pledges 1997-2001) $4.2 billion in pledges November 2002 Paris II Aid Conference
Currency:
Lebanese pound (LBP)
Currency code:
LBP
Exchange rates:
Lebanese pounds per US dollar - 1,507.5 (2002), 1,507.5 (2001), 1,507.5 (2000), 1,507.84 (1999), 1,516.13 (1998)
Fiscal year:
calendar year

Also See:

Background & Country Profile
Geography
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Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
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Transnational Issues & International Disputes
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Source: The CIA World Fact Book 2003

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