The value of cleared checks added a mere 0.42% during the first two months of the year, revealing a timid improvement in consumption levels. In fact, the number of checks cleared by Banque du Liban reached 1.99M worth $11.29B by February 2016 compared to a total of 1.97M checks valued at $11.25B registered a year earlier. Furthermore, the value of checks denominated in Lebanese Pounds (LBP) went up by a yearly 6.76% to reach $3.25B while dollar transactions looked bleaker as the value of checks denominated in foreign currencies dropped by 1.92% y-o-y to $8.05B. As the total value of checks in foreign currencies declined by February 2016, the dollarization rate of checks retreated from 72.97% by February 2015 to 71.26%. Looking at returned checks, which accounted for 2.64% of the total value of checks, their value ticked up by 0.66% y-o-y to $298M by end of February.
In the month of February alone, the value of cleared checks increased by 2.36% from 2015 to attain $5.53B in 2016. The value of checks denominated in foreign currencies (representing 72.17% of the total) and in LBP edged down from February 2015 by respective 2.84% and 1.13% to $3.99B and $1.54B this year.
Value of Cleared Checks by February ($M)