A good post today by Ehsani2 on www.syriacomment.com provides a more balanced view of the Syrian economy than the authorities in Damascus would have you believe.
I would add the following comments:
It is good to see some growth in the economy. It would have been a better story if this increase in income was accruing to productive and hard working men and women instead of rent seekers and the corrupt elite.
Look a little closer at the key sources of growth: Oil exports + Iraq + Lebanon. Since Iraqis have been permitted to own property in Syria, they have been busy investing in land and real estate. Liquidity, which used to flow out of the country through Lebanese-based banks and out into the wider world, has been trapped in Syria. Interest rates have come down both in nominal and real terms. So Syrians have also been buying land and real estate. Gulf investment in hotels and some processing industries is significant but neither a key growth factor nor sustainable.
There is no need to go over the arguments for real reforms and the routing out of institutionalised corruption. There are undoubtedly some good, honest and knowledgeable people working within the obsolete machinery of government. Sadly, they are whistling in the wind.