Lebanese budget deficit will be below 9% of GDP: finance minister

FILE PHOTO: Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil talks during a news conference at the presidential palace in Baabda
FILE PHOTO: Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil talks during a news conference at the presidential palace in Baabda, Lebanon November 6, 2017. REUTERS/Aziz Taher

May 18, 2019

BEIRUT (Reuters) – The Lebanese state draft budget for 2019 will have a deficit below 9% of gross domestic product (GDP) and it may be less than 8.5% of GDP, Lebanese Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil said on Saturday, according to Lebanese broadcaster LBC.

Khalil made the comments in a discussion with reporters. The deficit was 11.2% of GDP in 2018. Government discussions on the draft budget should be concluded on Sunday, Khalil was also cited as saying by the National News Agency in the discussion.

Lebanon has one of the heaviest public debt burdens in the world at around 150 percent of GDP.

(Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian)

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