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    Lebanon Economy - 1990

      Overview: Severe factional infighting in 1989 has been destroying physical property, interrupting the established pattern of economic affairs, and practically ending chances of restoring Lebanon's position as a Middle Eastern entrepot and banking hub. The ordinary Lebanese citizen struggles to keep afloat in an environment of physical danger, high unemployment, and growing shortages. The central government's ability to collect taxes has suffered greatly from militia control and taxation of local areas. As the civil strife persists, the US dollar has become more and more the medium of exchange. Transportation, communications, and other parts of the infrastructure continue to deteriorate. Family remittances, foreign political money going to the factions, international emergency aid, and a small volume of manufactured exports help prop up the battered economy. Prospects for 1990 are grim, with expected further declines in economic activity and living standards.

      GDP: $2.3 billion, per capita $700; real growth rate NA% (1989 est.)

      Inflation rate (consumer prices): 60% (1989 est.)

      Unemployment rate: 33% (1987 est.)

      Budget: revenues $50 million; expenditures $650 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1988 est.)

      Exports: $1.0 billion (f.o.b., 1987); commodities--agricultural products, chemicals, textiles, precious and semiprecious metals and jewelry, metals and metal products; partners--Saudi Arabia 16%, Switzerland 8%, Jordan 6%, Kuwait 6%, US 5%

      Imports: $1.5 billion (c.i.f., 1987); commodities--NA; partners--Italy 14%, France 12%, US 6%, Turkey 5%, Saudi Arabia 3%

      External debt: $935 million (December 1988)

      Industrial production: growth rate NA%

      Electricity: 1,381,000 kW capacity; 3,870 million kWh produced, 1,170 kWh per capita (1989)

      Industries: banking, food processing, textiles, cement, oil refining, chemicals, jewelry, some metal fabricating

      Agriculture: accounts for about one-third of GDP; principal products--citrus fruits, vegetables, potatoes, olives, tobacco, hemp (hashish), sheep, and goats; not self-sufficient in grain

      Illicit drugs: illicit producer of opium poppy and cannabis for the international drug trade; opium poppy production in Al Biqa is increasing; most hashish production is shipped to Western Europe

      Aid: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-88), $356 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-87), $509 million; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $962 million; Communist countries (1970-86), $9 million

      Currency: Lebanese pound (plural--pounds); 1 Lebanese pound (LL) = 100 piasters

      Exchange rates: Lebanese pounds (LL) per US$1--474.21 (December 1989), 496.69 (1989), 409.23 (1988), 224.60 (1987), 38.37 (1986), 16.42 (1985)

      Fiscal year: calendar year

      NOTE: The information regarding Lebanon on this page is re-published from the 1990 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Lebanon Economy 1990 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Lebanon Economy 1990 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 07-Feb-03
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