Lebanon's gross domestic Product (GDP) experienced 0.5 percent growth in 2001's first quarter, breaking a two-year streak of zero or negative economic growth, according to a report obtained Tuesday by, June 12, AFP from Banque Audi, a private bank.
"With an increase in global demand of almost six 6.0 percent, the GDP's growth is ... estimated at 0.5 percent in annual terms," the report said. "While insufficient, the growth still marks a break with the declining trend these past two years."
Growth was minus 0.1 percent in 1999 and zero in 2000, Banque Audi said. Having attained double digit figures at the start of Lebanon's reconstruction following the country's 15-year civil war (1975 -1990), Lebanon's GDP nosedived. By 1995 it was down to seven percent, dropping to four percent in 1996, 3.5 percent in 1997 and one percent in 1998.
"The weak or even absent growth of the past years has produced a precarious situation which is not easily remedied," the report warned.
The report said the Lebanese economy's ailments included growth of less than one percent, unemployment of 10 percent, budgetary and current deficits greater than three percent of GDP, currency reserves valued at less than three months of imports, and a debt equal to 50 percent of the GDP." ― (AFP, Beirut)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )