Retail sales
up 5.5 percent
Hospitality services rose 45 percent
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Growth in retail sales accelerated to 5.5 percent in the first half of 2019 compared to growth of 0.9 percent in the same period a year earlier, according to latest edition of ‘Retail Activity Indicators’ published by the Lebanese Franchise Association (LFA) and the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture of Beirut and Mount Lebanon (CCIABML).

The index covers retail sales performance across nine categories of goods and services. Sales levels remained eight percent below the 2012 base year level.

“The increase in the number of tourists as well as the stable security situation has contributed to this improvement,” said Yehya Kasaa, Chairman of the LFA.

Five retail categories advanced while four declined.

The retail sales indicator for hospitality services rose by 45 percent in the first half of the year, compared to the same period of 2018. Other categories showing growth were food and beverages, household goods, luxury goods, and tourism services.

Categories that showed declines were: cosmetics, clothing and fashion, sports and hobbies, and medical services.

Household spending, the main engine of economic growth, is likely to remain robust through 2020 driven by economic recovery in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, where many expatriates live, according to Fitch Solutions, a market research company.

Household spending is projected to increase by 5.7 percent to $35.5 billion in 2020 and by 5.9 percent to $37.6 billion in 2021, with growth largely skewed in favor of necessities, in particular food and non-alcoholic beverages, according to Fitch Solutions.

Reported by Rania Ghanem
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Date Posted: Sep 26, 2019