Areas of growth also recorded
Two sets of indices have registered negative results in the first half of 2016 compared to those of the same period last year.
The indices were recorded by the Beirut Traders Association (BTA)-Fransabank and Lebanese Franchise Association (LFA)-Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Beirut and Mount Lebanon.
After accounting for inflation, the BTA index witnessed a drop of around five percent in the second quarter of 2016. The overall index scored 48.9 over 100, which is the first time the index slides under 50 since it was launched in 2011.
In spite that inflation on clothing prices grew, the BTA index showed that the cost of living grew by one percent in the second quarter of the year.
The LFA index also revealed a decrease in sales in the clothing, hospitality, tourism, and luxury goods retail sectors.
Charles Arbid, Chairman of LFA, said: Our companies currently need extra room for understanding while the storm passes.
Overall, the half year evolution of sales pertaining to the nine retail sectors has decreased by half a percent. As well as the aforementioned four sectors, the remaining five sectors are food and beverage (F&B), cosmetics, household goods, sports and hobbies, and medical services.
The report by the LFA said that the modest move upward in 2015 failed to build up into a sustained thrust.
The F&B sector grew in the first half by 16.5 percent. It saw the highest climb in this period.
The sales of household goods, which had dropped 15 percent in the first half of 2015, now recorded a positive growth of two percent in H1 2016.
Other growing sectors are cosmetics, sports and hobbies, and medical services. However, these sectors are growing at a slower pace compared to the first half of 2015.
Reported by Yassmine Alieh
Date Posted: Sep 19, 2016