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Seasonally adjusted PMI in Lebanon falls to 26-month low

Staff writer ▼ | April 7, 2016
At 45.0, down from February’s 47.4, the headline seasonally adjusted BLOM Lebanon PMI signalled the sharpest deterioration in overall private sector business conditions for over two years in March.
Lebanon PMI
Worsening conditions   BLOM Lebanon PMI
After registering close to the neutral 50.0 mark in January, the headline index has since posted back-to-back falls, and as a result recorded its lowest quarterly average for a year and a half.

The level of output in the private sector economy decreased to the greatest extent since January 2014, weighed on by a sharp and accelerated drop in incoming new work, the fastest for more than two years.

Survey evidence pointed to an unstable demand environment in the country, with reports from panellists of political uncertainty and low tourist numbers combining to reduce new business.

Moreover, new work from abroad also fell, with the rate of decline the sharpest seen since last October.

Employment showed the joint-fastest decrease in the past 19 months in March, having remained broadly unchanged in January and February.

A steep drop in backlogs of work – the fastest in the survey’s near three-year history – was evidence of businesses having a surplus of resources to cope with the current level of demand.

March also saw a decrease in buying levels as companies sought to adapt to lower workplace activity.

The reduction was the fifth in the past six months and the most marked since August 2014. Despite this drop in purchasing activity, stocks of purchases were accumulated amid falling output.