The BLOM Lebanon PMI (Purchasing Managers’ Index) dropped from December’s level of 49.0 to score 44.7 in January 2014, reaching its lowest mark in the 9-Month’s survey. The below-50 PMI reveals economic contraction and the index decrease between December and January signals a faster monthly contraction than that of December. In details, political instability and security uprisings widened the deceleration rates of output and new orders that reached their lowest levels since August 2013. Moreover, export orders witnessed a new decline in January after having improved in December. Prices charged by private sector dropped in January compared to December’s increase as several firms tried to increase their sales through discounts and promotions. On a positive note, the employment index that represents hiring in the Lebanese private sector, posted the fastest increase since September, however it remained marginal.