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This policy brief looks at the key socio-economic and political features of Lebanon, the drivers of its fragility exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the devastating explosion at Beirut’s port on August 4, 2020. This colossal explosion has exacerbated the impact of the ongoing pandemic and eroded confidence in an economy that was already in crisis, in a country that is also grappling with inept leadership.
The brief highlights how the country can cope with this succession of severe crises in an attempt to help political leaders in taking adequate decisions. It also presents preliminary findings of recent research that examines whether using a measure of the (economic) sentiment of the Lebanese population can produce a reliable diagnosis on the changes in the country’s economic outlook.
Our research underscores the benefit of including sentiments (as an indicator of anxiety among Lebanese people) to improve the overall forecast of growth rates. Ultimately, we identify potential policy priorities in the face of nearer-term pressures.