The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Budget deficit cut slips further over the horizon

The Beirut corniche: more twists and turns
to come before Lebanon's budget is sorted out

Hopes that fiscal consolidation would begin paying off for Lebanon in 2004 were dashed by the draft budget approved by the cabinet in late October.

After more than a month of political infighting, the 30-member cabinet led by prime minister Rafiq Hariri approved a budget package that forecasts an increased deficit of 32% on budget expenditures. An earlier forecast was for a 2004 deficit of between 27% and 30.8%, and the new figure also greatly exceeds the now overly optimistic 24.7% deficit forecast for 2003. The budget will see gross debt creep back to the level recorded before the Paris II lending conference of November 2002, where European and Arab donors offered $4.4 billion in soft loans to allow the government breathing space in which to institute reform.

For a country with a public debt of around $32 billion - over 180% of GDP - the budget has been roundly dismissed by market observers as disappointing. No privatization or securitization receipts are part of the package for the coming year.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree