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Lebanon Balance of Payments
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
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    Business in Beirut, in one form or another, managed to continue throughout years of civil strife
    Courtesy Mokhless Al-Hariri/The Georgetown Design Group, Inc.

    Balance of Payments

    Before the early 1900s, Lebanon generally had a balance of payments surplus. After that, however, the balance of payments situation fluctuated considerably. In 1983 the Central Bank reported a deficit of US$933 million; a year later, the deficit was set at about US$1.4 billion. But in 1985 there was an overall current account surplus of US$381 million as Central Bank foreign assets rose and the government purchased fewer weapons. Progress was not maintained, however; by the end of May 1986, the Central Bank estimated a US$407 million deficit, comprising a US$583 million Central Bank shortfall and a US$176 million surplus at the commercial banks. Central Bank governor Edmond Naim complained that the shortfall was caused by pressure from the government to finance runaway public expenditure and a failure to do anything about the state's withering revenue base.

    Public debt soared as the government's formal revenues sources- -taxes and customs receipts--dried up. In 1984 the government spent about US$1.6 billion more than it obtained in revenues. The deficit had to be financed by borrowing US$840 million from the Central Bank and by selling treasury bonds. In 1985 the situation deteriorated even further, and by August the Chamber of Deputies approved a budget based on US$611 million in government revenues. However, state revenues that year amounted to only US$224 million. The principal reason for the deficit was the persistent failure to secure receipts from customs duties. Public debt reached US$931 million by the end of 1986, and by the end of March 1987 it totaled US$883 million.

    Data as of December 1987

    NOTE: The information regarding Lebanon on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Lebanon Balance of Payments information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Lebanon Balance of Payments should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.

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Revised 10-Nov-04
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