Remittances Take a Toll on the Lebanon Economy
Until recently, remittances were considered to be the most reliable source of revenue for Lebanon. However, the country’s currency has recently depreciated by more than 90 per cent. This has left the government to calculate telecom tariffs based on a much weaker flexible currency rate.
World Bank revises its real GDP growth forecast for 2018 down to 1 per cent from its previous forecast
Developing Asia is expected to face strong inflation pressures in the coming years. High energy prices will drive manufacturing costs up and squeeze household spending. It could also lead to food insecurity and debt distress in developing economies.
In the developing world, inflation is expected to rise to 9.5% in the next two years. The war in Ukraine has dragged down global growth, increasing the likelihood of a sharp deceleration. This has prompted major central banks to raise interest rates to tame inflation.
In advanced economies, global inflation is forecast to peak at 6.6%. The Conference Board estimates that recessions will occur in the Euro Area and the US around 2023. The global economy is facing significant downside risks, including an escalation of the war in Ukraine, energy shortages, and rising global inflation.
The outlook for the advanced economies is weaker than it was three months ago. China’s economy is forecast to slow, although it could still escape an outright recession. The outlook for the euro area is also weaker than it was three months ago.
China continues to deal with the COVID-19 outbreaks. While its GDP has climbed from $1.2 trillion in 2000 to $13.9 trillion in 2018, it is expected to slow to 3.3% in 2022 and 2.9% in 2023.
Russia’s economy contracted less than expected in the second quarter. However, the outlook for its growth remains negative. The outlook for India’s growth has been reduced by 0.8 percentage points to 7.4%.
The output of the construction sector slowed to a 1.5% fall in Quarter 3 of 2022. The outlook for the United Kingdom is also weaker than it was three months ago. Energy shortages could undermine confidence and lead to a rise in global energy prices. This could further reduce growth in the euro area.
Remittances were once considered one of the most reliable sources of revenue for Lebanon
Until recently, remittances were considered one of the most reliable sources of revenue for Lebanon. However, after a decade of conflict, the remittances lag has taken a toll on the Lebanese economy.
As a result, Lebanon’s GDP declined by -19.2% in 2018, a figure which is expected to continue to shrink. The country’s public finances also took a hit, with the fiscal deficit expanding by USD 2.6 billion over the 2012-2014 period. The Lebanese economy is in a deep hole, with a debt mountain of over 150 percent of national output.
The country’s economy has been put on a downward spiral since the beginning of 2019. The government has already declared the country’s economy in a free fall, and has set up “draconian” withdrawal controls in banks. The dollar is being held back in banks, and Lebanese depositors are only able to withdraw about 95% of their value in local currency.
The country also introduced a new tax on WhatsApp messages, which slapped a fee on the call. This prompted the most affluent to send their money home. In the short term, the government’s remittances are a positive, but the long term consequences are not yet known.
The most important lesson to learn from the government’s decision to go back on its word is that Lebanon must change course. It’s time to start living within its means. The country needs to reform its fiscal and monetary policies and put in place a new government to resume stalled talks with the International Monetary Fund. If the government isn’t able to find a solution, the country’s economy could fall into recession.
The most important takeaway from the government’s decision is that Lebanon is facing an economic crisis, and needs to find a way to get back on track.
Reducing the government budget deficit is a major goal for the current government
Despite the government’s recent success in securing a $11 billion soft loan from foreign investors at the CEDRE conference in Paris in April, the Lebanese economy faces serious challenges and is currently undergoing a deep recession. A comprehensive economic reform program aimed at rebuilding the economy has been formulated by the Lebanese authorities, and the government is currently negotiating with the IMF management to obtain funding for this ambitious program.
The comprehensive economic reform program is intended to restore financial stability and strengthen governance in Lebanon. The government has already started implementing some key reforms, such as a reformed bank secrecy law. This law is expected to remove some of the barriers to effective tax administration, and it aligns with international standards.
Another key reform, which will increase transparency and spending efficiency, is the implementation of a procurement law. In addition to improving the civil service, the reform will increase revenue intake and spending efficiency. The reforms will also be implemented in the pension schemes. The reform will help increase transparency and spending efficiency in the government.
According to the Ministry of Finance, Lebanon’s primary budget deficit will be 3.5% of GDP in 2023. This is significantly worse than the 4.2% deficit projected by the World Bank for this year. However, the draft budget is still subject to final amendments, and is expected to get worse due to spending ahead of the election. The budget will be externally financed and will change the import valuation for tax purposes.
The government also has plans to expand social spending, allowing for a rise in public sector employees. In addition, proposals are being negotiated to address the hiring of public sector workers and to address tax evasion.
Lebanese currency lost 90% of its value in two years
Until recently, Lebanon’s currency, the pound, had been fairly stable. However, a series of shocks over the last year have taken a toll on the country’s economy.
In the last two years, the pound has lost almost 90 percent of its value. This has left many Lebanese struggling to survive. In addition, the country’s economic meltdown has led to a lack of basic services, such as electricity and fuel, leaving many people without access to food and medicine.
The currency crisis has fueled protests. Protesters have voiced their anger at the government’s inability to address the problem. Deputy head of the Future Movement, a political party, says the country’s political system is incapable of addressing the problems.
The country’s economic meltdown is among the three worst crises in Lebanon’s history. According to the World Bank, it could take two decades to recover per capita GDP from the pre-crisis period.
The country’s political system has failed to address the economic situation. Currently, about seventy-seven percent of Lebanese live below the poverty line. This is the highest rate in Lebanon since the civil war ended in 2006.
According to a report released by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, food prices in Lebanon rose by 550 percent from August 2020 to August 2021. The World Bank says the inflation rate between June 2019 and June 2021 is 281 percent.
Prices of consumer goods have also increased. The country’s health care has deteriorated due to reduced salaries and a lack of doctors and nurses. In addition, the country’s education system has suffered due to teachers and nurses seeking better job opportunities abroad.
The country’s banks are largely insolvent. In addition, the government’s budget deficit has reached red zone territory.
Lebanese government plans to calculate telecom tariffs based on a much weaker flexible currency rate
Earlier this month, Lebanon’s telecoms sector announced plans to calculate telecom tariffs by dividing a dollar bill by three and then multiplying by a much weaker flexible currency rate. This will presumably increase the prices of internet and mobile phone services.
This isn’t the first time telecoms have sparked outrage in Lebanon. Previously, the official government rate was around 1,500 lira to the dollar. That’s not a good sign for the cash-strapped industry, as a recent report estimates that about half of the population is below the poverty line.
In the last six months, the Lebanese pound has depreciated by nearly ninety percent. The country has a deficit of over $11bn and has a $1bn foreign reserve, which includes a large chunk of the International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Rights.
In December 2020, the United Nations launched its Reform, Recovery and Reconstruction Framework, which focuses on key structural reforms to build back better in Lebanon. The plan also includes a debt restructuring program that requires an understanding of how debt can be recovered.
According to the Lebanese Ministry of Communication, the new telecoms tariffs will be calculated by dividing a dollar bill by three, and then multiplying by a much weaker exchange rate. The resulting cost will be about three times higher than the official rate.
The official rate for a 30-day prepaid card used to cost $22.7, but now costs more than $191,000, as measured by the central bank’s Sayrafa exchange platform. The old adage that money can’t buy happiness is truer than ever. A live-in cleaner in Kenya, Noel Musanga, only makes enough money to survive. He says he feared that his Internet provider’s rates would skyrocket to the point where he would no longer be able to afford it.