Friday, February 8, 2008

From the economic page: wages, cartels, cold damages and trade deficit.

Today's economic page in Al Akhbar carried a lot of very interesting articles. I learned that there seems to be some progress towards increasing the minimum monthly wage to $300. Not a moment too soon, especially with the 25% registered increase in cost of living. But I'll believe in the raise when I'll see it. after all, the government believes that no one in Lebanon earns the minimum wager, and then publishes data to show that 30% of the population is below the poverty line. There is also a report to indicate that now that the flour mills cartel seems to have been slightly neutralized, it is the bakeries cartel that is trying to benefit from the flour subsidies. In addition, there are 2 reports on the damages caused by the cold wave to the beekeepers of the North (Akkar and Dinniyeh, with data about their number and their production) and to the vegetable farmers in Bint Jbeil (one of them an organic farmer). And finally three numbers: $9,697 millions- these are the total imports of Lebanon until October 2007; and $2,282 million- these are the total exports from Lebanon during the same period; and $7,415 millions, is the trade deficit. Interestingly (?) metal products were the main imports ($5,175 millions) and...metals were the main exports ($416 millions).

1 comment:

ali said...

while such a high percentage of people living below the poverty line is a shame, and an indictment of the lebanese government, the good news is that lebanon is on par with the state of michigan, where it is estimated that 1/3 of its 9 million residents live below the poverty line. globalization is becoming the great equalizer. perhaps some lebanese will be proud of the fact that on certain levels their society ranks with the industrialized world's supposedly wealthiest country.