Lebanon’s public debt up again

Lebanon’s total public debt rose to US$33.9 billion by the end of February from US$32.9 billion a month earlier, the Central Bank said in its most recent monthly bulletin.

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By  Richard Agnew Published  May 22, 2005

Lebanon’s total public debt rose to US$33.9 billion by the end of February from US$32.9 billion a month earlier, the Central Bank said in its most recent monthly bulletin. External public debt comprised US$18.99 billion of the total. However, banking sources estimate the debt now stands at US$35 billion. In official figures released last week, the bank said Lebanon recorded a US$777.4 million balance of payments deficit in the first two months of 2005, compared with a surplus of US$203 million in the same period last year. It recorded a US$784.6 million deficit in February alone. Lebanon recorded a balance of payments surplus of US$168.5 million last year, US$3.38 billion in 2003 and US$1.56 billion in 2002. Lebanon’s public debt is among the world’s heftiest, at some 184% of gross domestic product — most of it accumulated in the 1975-1990 civil war.

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