Lebanon Businessnews News

Retail sales
up last year
Yearly indicator up despite

drop in fourth quarter

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Retail sales increased by 1.37 percent in 2017 according to an index published by The Lebanese Franchise Association (LFA), in collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture in Beirut and Mount Lebanon (CCIA-BML).

The index covers nine categories of goods and services. The indicator remained nine percent below its 2012 base year level.

Of the categories included in the report, five categories have increased and four saw their sales go down.

Albert Nasr, General Manager of Quant Analysis, the company that prepared the indicator, said: “A marked decline in the annual growth rate of private investment in the goods producing sectors, and the high cost of consumer credit, have had an impact on the index.”

Another retail sales indicator, released by Fransabank in collaboration with the Beirut Traders Association (BTA), showed a drop in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to the same period of 2016.

With the base index (100) fixed at the fourth quarter of 2011, and with a quarterly inflation rate of 2.78 percent for the fourth quarter of 2017, the index stood at 49.64 compared to 54.78 in the same period of 2016.

The BTA said: “The regaining of momentum was not sufficient to reverse the downtrend that most sectors of the retail market have been experiencing for too long now, including not only food products, and the clothing and shoes sectors, but also the construction materials and the furniture sectors.”

The Association said that the results represent a reflection of the new revised tax laws and their impact on households’ purchasing and consumption levels, which are highly influenced by the absence of foreign visitors and visiting immigrants.

Reported by Yassmine Alieh
Date Posted: Mar 20, 2018
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