Lebanon's consumer confidence shoots up in second quarter of 2018

The index released in collaboration between Byblos Bank and AUB revealed that consumer confidence averaged 74.2 in the second quarter of 2018, up from 60.8 in the first quarter of 2018, and a rise of 35.4 percent from 54.8 percent in the second quarter of 2017.
by Georgi Azar

25 July 2018 | 15:04

Source: by Annahar

  • by Georgi Azar
  • Source: Annahar
  • Last update: 25 July 2018 | 15:04

In this April 10, 2014 photo, luxury high-rise buildings line the seafront, in Beirut Lebanon. (AP Photo)

BEIRUT: Consumer confidence in Lebanon witnessed a notable increase in the second quarter of 2018, constituting a jump of 22 percent according to the Byblos Bank/American University of Beirut Consumer Confidence Index (CCI). 

The index released in collaboration between Byblos Bank and AUB revealed that consumer confidence averaged 74.2 in the second quarter of 2018, up from 60.8 in the first quarter of 2018, and a rise of 35.4 percent from 54.8 percent in the second quarter of 2017. 

The results showed that the Index increased by 5% in April from the preceding month, surged by 34% in May and declined by 2% in June 2018.

Still, the average monthly score of the Index in the second quarter of 2018 was 30% lower than the quarterly peak score of 105.8 registered in the fourth quarter of 2008, and remained 23.3% below the annual peak of 96.7 reached in full-year 2009. 

Commenting on the results, Mr. Nassib Ghobril, Chief Economist at Byblos Bank said the main factor affecting “household sentiment in the second quarter of the year was the successful holding of Lebanon's long-delayed parliamentary elections in May 2018, as well as the outcome of the elections.”

Lebanon held its first parliamentary elections in nine years in May, after numerous delays and political bickering hindered the process of electing new representatives.

Ghobril also noted that “the second quarter results show that, regardless of their political affiliation, the majority of voters seem to be generally satisfied with the outcome of the parliamentary elections.'' 

As a result, household confidence in May reached its highest level since July 2010, while the second-quarter results were 36% higher than the monthly trend average score of 54.6 since the inception of the Index in July 2007.

Despite the increase in consumer confidence, the economist maintains that tangible solutions must be implemented to alleviate the stammering economic state of the country to build on their confidence level. 

The Byblos Bank/AUB Consumer Confidence Index is a measure of the sentiment and expectations of Lebanese consumers toward the economy and their own financial situation.

The Index is compiled, implemented and analyzed in line with international best practices and according to criteria from leading consumer confidence indices worldwide.


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