Lebanon’s draft budget for 2019 projects a deficit of less than 9 percent of GDP compared to 11.2 percent in 2018, Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil said Wednesday.
It includes “wide reductions” in spending based on the need for “exception austerity measures”, Khalil told Reuters.
The budget, seen as a critical test of the heavily indebted state’s determination to reform, is based on an economic growth forecast of 1.5 percent in 2019, which could rise to around 2 percent as the economy picks up, he said.
The draft budget projects a primary surplus compared to a deficit in 2018, Khalil added.
“The most important thing is that we have put ourselves on the path of dealing with the accumulated deficit,” Khalil said. The draft represented an “introduction to more deficit reductions in the 2020 and 2021 budgets,” he said.
The Daily Star