June 22, 2018 / 7:00 AM / a month ago

IMF urges Lebanon to make "immediate and substantial" fiscal adjustment

BEIRUT, June 22 (Reuters) - Lebanon requires “an immediate and substantial” fiscal adjustment to improve the sustainability of public debt that stood at more than 150 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) at the end of 2017, the IMF executive board said.

An IMF statement released overnight said IMF executive directors agreed with the thrust of a staff appraisal which in February urged Lebanon to immediately anchor its fiscal policy in a consolidation plan that stabilised debt as a share of GDP and then puts it on a clear downward path.

Lebanon’s debt to GDP ratio is one of the highest in the world. “Directors stressed that an immediate and substantial fiscal adjustment is essential to improve debt sustainability, which will require strong and sustained political commitment,” the IMF executive board statement said. (Writing by Tom Perry Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

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