Lebanon Businessnews News

Retail activity
continues to slip
Sales in six out of nine

categories decreased in 2016

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Retail sales fell one percent in 2016 compared to 2015, according to the Retail Sales Index by the Lebanese Franchise Association (LFA) and Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture in Beirut and Mount Lebanon (CCIA-BML).

Albert Khoury of Quant Analyst, the company that prepared the statistics, said: “This confirms the fact that the retail activity’s minimal rates of improvement witnessed in 2015 have failed to create recovery momentum in 2016.”

The overall retail sales index for 2016 remained ten percent below its 2012 base year level.

Of the nine categories of consumer goods and services, the indicator for three categories moved up. But six categories saw sales decline. Food and beverage had the highest increase, due to the extra consumption by Syrian refugees.

Charles Arbid, Chairman of the LFA, said: “We need incentivizing measures and policies that restore economic growth, raise productivity, and create more job opportunities.”

He said that the government should give incentives to increase capital flows in tourism, foreign investment, and exports.

Mohamad Choucair, Chairman of the CCIA-BML, said: “We have heard about increasing taxes to collect revenues to fund the salary scale, but we haven’t heard about combating corruption.”

He said that versus the drop in formal and legal economy, the black market is on the rise.
CategorySales growth in 2016 (%)
Food and beverage14
Sports and hobbies4
Medical services4
Fashion and clothing-6
Household goods-1.5
Luxury goods-6
Hospitality services-4

Source: LFA/CCIA-BML Retail Sales Index
Reported by Yassmine Alieh
Date Posted: Mar 15, 2017
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