Beirut Traders Association(BTA) andBankMed release the results of“Beirut Traders Association- BankMed Investment Index” for the first quarter of 2014

Beirut, May 22, 2014:Beirut Traders Association and BankMed released the results of“Beirut Traders Association – BankMed Investment Index,”for the first quarter of 2014. The index, which is backed by the technical support of the Central Administration of Statistics in Lebanon, aims at assessing the reality of the wholesale sector in Lebanon.

The index reveals the investment climate in Lebanon shedding light on the commercial activity and overall economic situation. The results for the first quarter of 2014 indicate that the “Turnover Component” of the index recordeda slight year-on-year real deterioration. Nevertheless, in spite of the decline that some sectors witnessed, the “Intention to Invest Component” of the index reflected a continued willingness to increase investment in the upcoming period.

The “Turnover Component,” which tackles the activity during the quarter under study, recorded a real deterioration amounting to 0.97% in comparison with the same quarter of 2013. This decline is attributed to the deterioration in the purchasing power of households, who are following austerity measures with respect to their daily consumption, in addition to the decline in the number of visitors and tourists. This again led to the contraction of retailers’ sales, causing an accumulation of their stock, and consequently resulted in a decline of retailers’ orders.

According to the published results, thisdeterioration weighed heavily on several sectors, namely the Electrical Engines & Transformers and the Livestock sectors, which witnessed the sharpest declines in sales,recording a decrease of 24.3% and 16.9%, respectively.

Despite the accelerated decline in the commercial activity, the “Intention to Invest Component” revealed that there is no clear intention to disinvest in the wholesale trade sector in the near future. The observed results indicate that only two sectors have shown willingness to disinvest: Computers and Electrical & Electronics sectors. Conversely, there are sectors that have shown positive intentions to invest, such as,Dairy Products, Eggs & Oil, Pharmaceuticals, as well as Books, Magazines, Newspapers & Stationary sectors.

The “BTA-BankMed InvestmentIndex”has become an important indicator in the activity in the commercial sector as it assists the caretakers in making educated decisionsin their future investments.

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