Lebanon Central Bank head says expects economy to grow 2% in 2018

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Updated 12 July 2018
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Lebanon Central Bank head says expects economy to grow 2% in 2018

BEIRUT: Lebanon's Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh said on Thursday he expects the economy to grow by 2 percent and for inflation to be 4-5 percent in 2018.
Speaking at an economic conference in Beirut, Salameh said the estimates were made in the light of a slowdown in the real estate sector and stable consumption.
Lebanon has been suffering weak growth since 2011, hit by regional turmoil. The IMF has estimated growth rates of 1-1.5 percent in 2017 and 2018, saying traditional drivers of the economy - construction and real estate - remain subdued.
The IMF has also called for "an immediate and substantial" fiscal adjustment to improve the sustainability of public debt, which stood at more than 150 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) at the end of 2017.
Salameh said he expects bank lending to decrease by 1.6 percent in 2018 compared to last year and, based on data from the first five months of this year, for bank deposits to grow by more than 5 percent in 2018.
Lebanon's economy relies on the confidence of millions of expatriate Lebanese who deposit money into local banks. The banks buy government debt, which finances the expanding budget deficit and debt.
Foreign deposit inflows into the banking system have slowed since 2011. The IMF says private sector deposits grew 3.8 percent last year - below the average for recent years.


Boeing kickstarts Farnborough Airshow with order for jets worth $4.7bn

Updated 16 July 2018
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Boeing kickstarts Farnborough Airshow with order for jets worth $4.7bn

BENGALURU: Boeing Co. said on Monday it won an order for 14 freight aircraft for a value of $4.7 billion, firing the opening salvo against rival Airbus in a contest for business on day one of the Farnborough Airshow.
Logistics group DHL placed the order for the 777 freighters and acquired purchase rights for seven more freighters, the US planemaker said.
Boeing and Airbus are expected to make several announcements on the first day of the July 16-22 event, as they seek to bolster their already bulging order books.
The latest order follows Boeing’s deal with FedEx Corp. unit FedEx Express in June for 24 medium and large freighters.
While global trade tensions are escalating, the industry is counting on e-commerce continuing to soar, with more people buying products online for quick delivery.
Air freight demand is expected to increase 4 percent this year, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Last year was the best for cargo since 2010, with traffic growth more than doubling to 9 percent, three times the growth in capacity.
Boeing’s latest order will double the size of DHL’s global 777 fleet, the companies said. The delivery of the first four planes is expected to be completed in 2019, DHL said in a separate statement.
The Farnborough Airshow is the industry’s biggest event this year. It alternates with the Paris Airshow and, collectively, they account for over a quarter of industry order intake each year.