The Lebanese high customs council revealed that the country’s trade deficit decreased in November from the previous month by 15.96 percent to $416 million. For the first 11 months as a whole, the trade deficit was 1.6 percent narrower than for the equivalent period in 1999, at $4.98 billion.
Exports for the year up to November 2000 amounted to $659 million, up 7.33 percent on the same period in 1999, while imports in the first eleven months of the year were $5.64 billion compared to $5.68 billion a year earlier.
According to the latest Banque du Liban statistics, Lebanon registered a balance of payments (BoP) deficit in October 2000 of $67.8 million compared to a deficit of $48 million in September, and a $231.5 million surplus in October 1999. For the first 10 months of the year the BoP registered an accumulated deficit of $91 million compared to a surplus of $189.9 million for the same period in 1999. The October 2000 deficit resulted from a $478.1 million drop in the net foreign assets of the central bank coupled with a $410.3 million rise in those of commercial banks.
Lebanon’s net total public debt rose 1.4 percent in October 2000 to $22.44 billion from $22.13 billion in September. Net domestic debt increased 1.2 percent to $16.01 billion, while external debt went up by 1.9 percent to $6.43 billion.
On a year-to-year basis, net domestic debt increased 16 percent from $13.80 billion in October 1999, while external debt went up 17.1 percent from $5.49 billion. ¯ ( Banque du Liban et d'Outre-Mer Sal )
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )