Hamdan also said: "The forecast figure is accurate and it is a worrying figure, when we bear in mind that inflation was at less than 0.5 per cent in 2005 and at less than two per cent in 2004."
 
The Israeli military onslaught on Lebanon and its eight-week blockade during the summer increased Lebanon's public debt to $41bn, according to official figures.
 
Immediate material damage to infrastructure alone was estimated at about $3.5bn, according to official figures.