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    Lebanon Economy - 1991

      Overview: Since 1975 civil war has seriously damaged Lebanon's economic infrastructure, disrupted economic activity, and all but ended Lebanon's position as a Middle Eastern entrepot and banking hub. Following October 1990, however, a tentative peace has enabled the central government to begin restoring control in Beirut, collect taxes, and regain access to key port and government facilities. The battered economy has also been propped up by a financially sound banking system and resilient small- and medium-scale manufacturers. Family remittances, foreign financial support to political factions, the narcotics trade, and international emergency aid are main sources of foreign exchange. Economic prospects for 1991 have brightened, particularly if the Syrian-backed government is able to maintain law and order and reestablish business confidence. Rebuilding war-ravaged Beirut is likely to provide a major stimulus to the Lebanese economy in 1991.

      GDP: $3.3 billion, per capita $1,000; real growth rate - 15% (1990 est.)

      Inflation rate (consumer prices): 100% (1990 est.)

      Unemployment rate: 35% (1990 est.)

      Budget: revenues $120 million; expenditures $1.0 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1990 est.)

      Exports: $1.0 billion (f.o.b., 1989 est.); 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: $1.9 billion (c.i.f., 1989 est.); commodities--NA; partners--Italy 14%, France 12%, US 6%, Turkey 5%, Saudi Arabia 3%

      External debt: $900 million (1990 est.)

      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; hashish production is shipped to Western Europe, Israel, and the Middle East

      Economic aid: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-88), $356 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-88), $608 million; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $962 million; Communist countries (1970-89), $9 million

      Currency: Lebanese pound (plural--pounds); 1 Lebanese pound (5L) = 100 piasters

      Exchange rates: Lebanese pounds (5L) per US$1--974.22 (January 1991), 695.09 (1990), 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 1991 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Lebanon Economy 1991 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Lebanon Economy 1991 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 08-Feb-03
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