BEIRUT: Lebanon’s economy is expected to grow by 7-8 percent this year while inflation remains stable as capital keeps pouring into the Arab country, central bank governor Riad Salameh said on Thursday.
Capital inflows, especially from Lebanese expatriates, contributed to 9 percent growth last year, with Lebanon shrugging off the effects of the global financial crisis.
Inflation is expected to remain at 4-5 percent this year, Salameh said, adding that deposits in the banking system rose 2.5 percent from January to March to $105 billion.
Salameh forecast deposits to rise by 10 percent over the whole of this year because confidence in Lebanon’s banking system remains high.
Over last two years Lebanon, a country of around 4 million people living under a sectarian political system, has been regaining its reputation as the Middle East’s playground, attracting Gulf capital to its real estate market and banking sector, which has a tradition of strict banking secrecy.