If you've been to the American University of Beirut's (AUB) Outdoors Festival you may think so. The main headline of Outlook, AUB's official weekly publication reads: Outdoors breaks all records - Outdoors 2006 attracts 11,200 people to AUB.
The article claims that the number of attendees (all of which paid entrance fees), was 4,200 more than the previous year. Most of the individuals interviewed attributed the higher turn-out to better planning, a higher level of investment (i.e. costs of preperation), and, believe it or not, a "Wild Wild West" theme in which organizers dressed up as cowgirls and cowboys (I wish I could see some pictures!).
Bilal Idriss, a member of AUB's Red Cross Club claimed that his club generated 1,690,000 L.L. on Saturday. "That is double than what we made last year."
The question is: can we use this annecdotal evidence to reinforce the popular perception that Lebanon's economic performance is improving? In the US, one of the most popular indices watched by economists are the Consumer Confidence Index and consumer spending. I doubt we have any such stats in Lebanon. I suppose the Outdoors Festival may serve as a "Lebanese" alternative.