Zero percent growth forecasted for this year. Riad Salameh: There is liquidity in the banking system - Lebanon

Zero percent growth
forecasted for this year
Riad Salameh: There is

liquidity in the banking system

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The Governor of the Central Bank (BDL), Riad Salameh, said that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will neither grow nor shrink in 2019.

The situation will improve in the second half of the year if the hospitality and tourism sectors improved, Salameh said.

Remittances are stable, ranging between $7 and $8 billion per year. “If remittances weren’t enough to meet the country’s financial needs, the Central Bank will compensate the shortage,” said the Governor. The country will not face difficulties in paying Treasury Bills for this year, according to Salameh.

Salameh said that BDL and the Ministry of Finance’s approach is not to issue new debt in dollars, until the situation becomes clearer. “There is no need to hurry, because there is liquidity in the banking system,” he said.

The deficit in the budget reached $1 billion in the first four months of the year, compared to $1.9 billion in the same period last year. “This is a good indicator,” he said. The budget deficit reached $6.2 billion in 2018.
Reported by Rania Ghanem
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Date Posted: Jun 25, 2019