Fiscal policy articles

Lebanon’s financial woes are home spun

Lebanon’s financial woes are home spun

Much like Ebenezer Scrooge’s selfish deeds, Lebanon’s past monetary and fiscal policies have finally come home to roost. As 2018 ends, most Lebanese have but one haunting worry: What kind of economic showdown will 2019 bring? To answer these fears, we first have to look at how we arrived at this wretched economic condition that

Mapping the money

At the end of March, Lebanon passed the 2018 state budget, the second budget passed in a six-month period after almost 12 years wihout any budget at all. The 2018 state budget features a 0.06 percent decrease in total spending compared against the 2017 state budget, with current expenditures declining 4 percent and capital expenditures

Budgeting for the future

Lebanon passed its second state budget in less than six months at the end of March, after being without one for almost 12 years. The 2018 state budget was hastily pushed through cabinet and Parliament ahead of early April’s CEDRE infrastructure investment conference in Paris, and it mandated spending cuts meant to please international donors.

Where is the money going?

In November 2017, Parliament ratified a state budget for the first time in over a decade. For  fiscal year 2017, the state’s total spending allocation was almost $16 billion (LL23.9 trillion). This represents a nearly 140 percent increase in public spending compared to 2005, the last year for which a budget was passed, when spending

Fiscal performance and the debt outlook

There has been quite a lot of concern regarding Lebanon’s recent fiscal performance  and its debt outlook. In its Article IV reviews for Lebanon, the International Monetary Fund has repeatedly alerted officials that the debt burden could derail the government from attaining its economic objectives and could be the prime risk source on financial stability,

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