Business conditions of Lebanon’s private sector companies saw further deterioration during the ninth month of the year. “The PMI was again discouraging in September 2017, recording a level of 46, the lowest in eleven months. Weak demand produced faster declines in the output and new orders indices, and a stronger euro and more expensive material costs increased the input costs indices”, commented Dr. Ali Bolbol, Chief Economist at BLOMINVEST Bank. September’s survey also revealed that the lack of activity has been negatively impacting employment, with firms marginally reducing their staff numbers. In reality, the continuous contraction of “the business environment seems to have been adversely affected by the state of public finances and the uncertainties regarding the new taxes, in addition to the downgrade of sovereign credit rating by Moody’s. Reversing all these trends should be the first order of business by the government if the PMI were to assume an upward course in the near future.” explained Dr. Bolbol.
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