Lebanon Economy

Is Lebanon a rich country?

Lebanon has a free-market economy and a strong laissez-faire commercial tradition. The government does not restrict foreign investment; however, the investment climate suffers from red tape, corruption, arbitrary licensing decisions, complex customs procedures, high taxes, tariffs, and fees, archaic legislation, and inadequate intellectual property rights protection. The Lebanese economy is service-oriented; main growth sectors include banking and tourism.

The 1975-90 civil war seriously damaged Lebanon's economic infrastructure, cut national output by half, and derailed Lebanon's position as a Middle Eastern banking hub. Following the civil war, Lebanon rebuilt much of its war-torn physical and financial infrastructure by borrowing heavily, mostly from domestic banks, which saddled the government with a huge debt burden. Pledges of economic and financial reforms made at separate international donor conferences during the 2000s have mostly gone unfulfilled, including those made during the Paris III Donor Conference in 2007, following the July 2006 war. The "CEDRE" investment event hosted by France in April 2018 again rallied the international community to assist Lebanon with concessional financing and some grants for capital infrastructure improvements, conditioned upon long-delayed structural economic reforms in fiscal management, electricity tariffs, and transparent public procurement, among many others.

The Syria conflict cut off one of Lebanon's major markets and a transport corridor through the Levant. The influx of nearly one million registered and an estimated 300,000 unregistered Syrian refugees has increased social tensions and heightened competition for low-skill jobs and public services. Lebanon continues to face several long-term structural weaknesses that predate the Syria crisis, notably, weak infrastructure, poor service delivery, institutionalized corruption, and bureaucratic over-regulation. Chronic fiscal deficits have increased Lebanon’s debt-to-GDP ratio, the third highest in the world; most of the debt is held internally by Lebanese banks. These factors combined to slow economic growth to the 1-2% range in 2011-17, after four years of averaging 8% growth. Weak economic growth limits tax revenues, while the largest government expenditures remain debt servicing, salaries for government workers, and transfers to the electricity sector. These limitations constrain other government spending, limiting its ability to invest in necessary infrastructure improvements, such as water, electricity, and transportation. In early 2018, the Lebanese government signed long-awaited contract agreements with an international consortium for petroleum exploration and production as part of the country’s first offshore licensing round. Exploration is expected to begin in 2019.

Lebanon Economy Data

What is the GDP of Lebanon?

GDP - Gross Domestic Product (PPP) $81,420,000,000 (USD)
GDP - official exchange rate $54,400,000,000 (USD)
GDP - real growth rate 2%
GDP Per Capita $18,600.00 (USD)
GDP by Sector- agriculture 5.6%
GDP by Sector- Industry 24.7%
GDP by Sector- services 69.7%
GDP - composition, by end use household consumption: 88%

government consumption: 12.4%

investment in fixed capital: 26.1%

investment in inventories: 0.5%

exports of goods and services: 20.4%

imports of goods and services: -47.4%
Population Below Poverty Line 28%
Inflation Rate 3.7%
Labor Force 1,481,000
Fiscal Year calendar year
Annual Budget $9,001,000,000 (USD)
Budget Surplus or Deficit - percent of GDP -9.4%
Public Debt (% of GDP) 170%
Taxes and other revenues - percent of GDP 21.8%
Major Industries banking; food processing; jewelry; cement; textiles; mineral and chemical products; wood and furniture products; oil refining; metal fabricating
Industrial Growth Rate 2.1%
Agriculture Products citrus, grapes, tomatoes, apples, vegetables, potatoes, olives, tobacco; sheep, goats
Currency Code Lebanese pound (LBP)
Child Labor - % of children ages 5-14 7%
Child Labor - # of children ages 5-14 54,387
Commercial Bank Prime Lending Rate 7.5%

Labor Force by Occupation- As reported by Lebanon

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