With a reading of 45.6 in August, the BLOM Lebanon Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) remained well below the 50 neutral- mark. The subdued PMI figures continue to reflect the precarious state of the Lebanese private sector economy.
The number of Kafalat guarantees pursued their downward trend in July 2018. According to Kafalat, the number of issued loan guarantees decreased from 342 by July 2017 to reach 251 guarantees by July 2018. The overall value of the guarantees also declined from $41.55M by July 2017 to $32.68M by July 2018. The number of granted Kafalat guarantees destined for all the sectors of industry, agriculture and tourism fell from 116, 142 and 67 by July 2017 to 95, 93 and 50 by July 2018.
Meanwhile, Lebanon’s Gross Public Debt is still swelling. According to the Association of Lebanese Banks, Lebanon’s gross public debt registered a yearly increase of 8.48%, to reach $82.95B by June 2018. In details, debt in local currency, LBP, grasping around 57.68% of the total gross public debt, rose by 2.22% y-o-y to $47.84B, and debt in foreign currency increased 18.36% y-o-y to $35.10B by June 2018.
On a positive note however, the hospitality sector appears to have had some respite. According to Ernst and Young’s Hotel Benchmark survey, the occupancy rate at Beirut’s 4 and 5 star hotels reached 73% in July, the second highest level registered during that month since July 2011. The Average Room Rate reached $198 in July 2018 up from $170 in July 2017.