The Lebanese budget registered a primary deficit of $616.04 million in December, as the deficit-spending ratio increased to 79.98 percent from 62.88 percent in November 2000.
The higher ratio was due to a 145.35 percent increase in the deficit resulting from a 4.04 percent rise in revenues, compared to an increase of 92.90 percent in expenditures, after the government partly settled outstanding bills to the private sector.
For the whole of 2000, the Lebanese government revenue and expenditures equaled $3,020 million and $6,922 million (of which $2,763 million was in debt servicing) respectively, resulting in a deficit of $3,902 million.
For 1999, the equivalent figures were $3,224 million in revenue and $5,606 million in spending ($2,404 million accounted for by interest payment on the debt), and a deficit of $2,381 million.
The deficit spending ratio in 2000 equaled 56.33 percent, above the previous government's target of 36 percent for the whole of 2000 and still higher than the 42.48v percent recorded in 1999. — (Banque du Liban et d'Outre-Mer Sal )
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )