In line with the previous years, Lebanese banks preserved their role as buffers against the recurring headwinds of an uncertain economy. As a matter of fact and despite the existing low growth environment, banks remained the economic growth’s last resort providing continuous support for the country’s consumption and investment activities.
In this context, tackling lending activity in Lebanon highlights the robustness of the Lebanese banking sector amid persisting political and economic uncertainties. In reality, the private sector’s business conditions kept on deteriorating as reflected by Lebanon’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) that averaged 46.8 points in the first three quarters of 2017, standing well below the 50-points mark, separating economic growth from contraction. Still, according to the Central Bank’s latest data, the total value of credit provided by the Lebanese banks to the economic sectors reached $66.92B in September 2017, increasing by 4.2% since year start and at around 127% of 2017’s estimated Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
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Lending Activity in Lebanon Steady Performance in 2017