Lebanon facing an economic setback.

Position:Brief article

On July 24, 2006, the BBC published a grim assessment of the effect of the Mid-East conflict on Lebanon's economy. The headline of the wire service story was, "Lebanon economy reels as attacks continue."

The BBC's main conclusion was that the damage inflicted on the country's infrastructure would have an adverse impact on Lebanon's growth even if the fighting were to stop immediately. An optimistic view of the situation, said the BBC, would be 2.0 percent growth "perhaps 3.0 percent." The BBC story also suggested that there was some basis for thinking that but for the fighting, Lebanon might achieve a growth rate of 6.0 percent.

Although it is clear that Lebanon's emergence from 15 years of civil war (1975-1990) was accompanied by an economic resurgence of a sort, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reports that growth in 2005 was 1.0 percent. Well before the fighting began, the IMF predicted that growth for...

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