BEIRUT: The Lebanese wholesale economy continued to mark a slow pace, particularly in sales, or "turnover," according to the Beirut Traders Association and Bankmed joint index for the final quarter of last year.
The index, which is backed by the technical support of the Central Administration of Statistics in Lebanon, is designed to gauge activity in the country's wholesale sector.
The results for the fourth quarter of 2016 indicate a continued deterioration in the "Turnover Component" despite the positive sentiment that prevailed following the election of a new president and the formation of a new cabinet. However, the "Intention to Invest Component" was characterized by some relative positivity in light of the encouraging developments that occurred during this quarter.
The "Turnover Component," which tackles the wholesale activity during last year's final quarter, recorded a real decline of 2.21 percent in comparison with the fourth quarter of 2015. This drop is largely attributed to the continued reduction in the volume of orders placed by retail merchants during this period.
According to the index, the Wholesale Sector of Household Electrical Equipment, the Wholesale Sector of Books, Magazines, Newspapers and Stationary, and the Wholesale of Dairy Products, Eggs, Oils and Fats, and the Wholesale of Pastry, Chocolate, Sweets, Jam and Kernels witnessed some improvement in their wholesale activity.
On the other hand, the Wholesale Sector of Phones and Communication Equipment continued to witness a notable decline in its wholesale activity alongside the Wholesale Sector of Electrical Engines and Transformers, and the Wholesale Sector of Medical Equipment and Spare Parts, which also experienced a significant slump in their wholesale activity.
With respect to the "Intention to Invest Component," the computed results reveal that some sectors have reported an intention to increase their investments in view of the relatively positive atmosphere that had been prevalent during this quarter.
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