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Source: United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO)
30 June 2011



SOCIO-ECONOMIC REPORT June 2011


Since 1996 UNSCO has continually monitored and reported on socio-economic conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) and, in the process, established an extensive socio-economic database. UNSCO does not produce primary data but rather makes use of available data, that in the oPt are relatively abundant. The information that is available, however, often remains dispersed and is not automatically shared between institutions. The objective of the database is to collate a wide range of social and economic indicators in one location, and, through the report, present a broad perspective of socio-economic conditions in the oPt.

The purpose of the present report is to: 1) broaden the access to the information contained in the database through publication of the most recent data gathered; and 2) provide readers with up-to-date information on short term changes in socio-economic conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory.

The report is divided into seven sections, as follows:

Section I. consists of a one-page fact sheet that provides a snapshot view of the socio-economic situation for the current and previous reporting periods.

Sections II. and III. report on the macro-economic and fiscal situation, and sections IV. and V. give an overview of developments in the banking and private sectors, respectively. Section VI. deals with trade, and Section VII. is dedicated to issues on Gaza.

Two annexes provide detailed reference information. Annex A presents detailed statistical reference tables, and Annex B lists the main socio-economic terms used in this report along with their corresponding definitions.

Topics of current interest are analyzed in-depth in periodic “Supplements”.

Most sections provide data on the six preceding reporting periods for each indicator and, for comparison purposes, data for a reference period immediately before the Al-Aqsa intifada, which started in September 2000, or the closest time period available.

Note: The data for the West Bank and oPt in this report do not include occupied East Jerusalem unless otherwise specified.

For further information or to be added to the mailing list please contact:

UNSCO Ramallah:
Astrid Marschatz
marschatz@un.org

UNSCO Gaza Strip:
Raed Raqeb
raqeb@un.org

I. SOCIO-ECONOMIC FACT SHEET - June 2011
Sources: PCBS: production, prices, labor market; MoF: public sec tor; PMA: banking sec tor; MoNE: new company registrations; Engineering Offices and Consulting Firms: area licensed for new construction; MoNE and General Petroleum Corporation: Gaza truck movement; UNSCO: closure and Gaza truck movement.
a/ Data not available.
b/ Preliminary data.
c/ Includes data for occupied East Jerusalem.
d/ MoNE data for August 2000 do not include aggregates or aid flows.

II. MACRO-ECONOMIC SITUATION
II.a Production
Real GDP grew by 0.4% in Q1/2011 compared to the previous quarter. In the West Bank, real GDP decreased by 4.9% in Q1/2011, whereas it increased by 17.9% in the Gaza Strip. Total real GDP reached US$1,483 million in Q1/2011, of which US$1,082 million was generated in the West Bank and US$401 million in the Gaza Strip.
Real GDP (US$ million)


Source: PCBS, Preliminary Estimates of Quarterly National Accounts (Q1/2011).
Note: Base year is 2004.

Change in Real Value Added in Select Sectors
Q1/2011


Source: PCBS, Preliminary Estimates of Quarterly National Accounts (Q1/2011).
Note: Base year is 2004.

Q1/2011, but iReal value added in agriculture and fishing more than doubled in Gaza in t decreased considerably in the West Bank during the same period. A significant expansion was also experienced in the manufacturing sector in both areas, particularly in Gaza. Construction was another very
dynamic sector in Gaza in Q1/2011, but not in the West Bank. Public administration and defense, and services, which continues to be the
biggest sector in the economy, increased the value of their output in both the West Bank and Gaza.

The Industrial Production Index (IPI), used to gauge short term changes in productive activity, increased by 1.8% in May 2011. A decrease of 4.7% in productive activity was recorded in the mining and quarrying sector (whose relative share is 4.6%), and a similar decrease of 4.6% was observed in the water supply and electricity sector (14.8% relative share). The manufacturing industry (with 80.6% relative share) registered a 3.1% increases during the month.
Change in Production in Industrial Activities in IPI

Source:PCBS.

I.b Prices
The Consumer Price Index (CPI), used to measure inflation, reflects an increase of only 0.1% in prices in June 2011 compared to the previous month, but an inflation rate of 3.1% in the year since June 2010. The highest price rises in June 2011 were in education and in textiles, clothing and footwear, while the largest price decreases were in miscellaneous goods and services and in furniture and household goods.
Consumer Price Index (2004 = 100)

Source: PCBS.

The CPI increased by 1.0% in June in the West Bank, led primarily by increases in the price of textiles, clothing and footwear, food and soft drinks, and education. The cost
of recreational, cultural goods and services presented the biggest decrease in this region. In East Jerusalem the CPI rose by 0.1%, pushed primarily by a significant rise in the cost of education, followed by textiles, clothing and footwear. The price of housing saw the biggest decline, followed by the cost of miscellaneous goods and
services, and medical care.
Change in Consumer Price Index by major expenditure groups
June 2011

Source: PCBS

In the Gaza Strip the CPI declined by 0.3% during the month of June. The most significant decreases in prices in Gaza during the month were in furniture and household goods, miscellaneous goods and services, and food and soft drinks. Restaurants, cafes and hotels exhibited the highest price increase during the month, followed
by communications and medical care.

II.c Exchange Rates

The NIS increased in value against the US dollar and the euro in June 2011. The JOD exchange rate to both the euro and the US dollar remained unchanged.

Average Monthly Exchange Rates


Source: PCBS.



II.d Labor Market
In Q1/2011 the labor force participation rate of persons aged 15 years and above was 41%. The number of persons participating in the labor force was 996,900 – about 4,300 less than at the end of 2010. Of these, about 672,700 were in the West Bank and 324,200 were in the Gaza Strip. The labor force participation rate in the West Bank reached 43%, while it was only 37% in the Gaza Strip. In the case of males over 15 years, 67% of them participated in the labor force, while only 15% of women over 15 years did.

Labor Force Participation rate (%)
(Labor Force in Thousands)


Source: PCBS, Labor Force Surveys.


Overall unemployment decreased from 23% to 22% in Q1/2011 but continues to show great variations with sex and age, affecting the young more than other age groups. Whereas there was no differential between the unemployment rates of men and women in Q4/2010 (both were 23%), in Q1/2011 women’s unemployment rate was six percentage points above men’s (27% vs. 21%). Men in the youngest (15-19) and the older (45-49 and 50+) age groups benefited the most in relative terms from the fall in unemployment. In the case of women, the unemployment rate actually increased for all groups except the 35-to-39-year age group. The highest unemployment rate of any group in Q1/2011 was experienced by women 20-to-24-years old: 57%.
Unemployment rate
Q1/2011

Source: PCBS, Labor Force Survey.

The average duration of the period of unemployment went down from 16 months in Q4/2010 to 13 months in Q1/2011. Even though the average period of unemployment is still more than twice as long in Gaza as in the West Bank, in Gaza it decreased from 24 months in Q4/2010 to 19 months in Q1/2011, while it increased in the West Bank from 8 to 9 months. Contrary to what was observed in the previous quarter, the period of unemployment was longer for women than for men in Q1/2011. The biggest change observed during the period was for men in Gaza, whose average duration of unemployment decreased from 25 to 18 months.

Average Duration of Unemployment (In Months)
Q1/2011


Source: PCBS, Labor Force Survey.


Overall unemployment decreased from 23% to 22% in Q1/2011 but continues to show great variations with sex and age, affecting the young more than other age groups. Whereas there was no differential between the unemployment rates of men and women in Q4/2010 (both were 23%), in Q1/2011 women’s unemployment rate was six percentage points above men’s (27% vs. 21%). Men in the youngest (15-19) and the older (45-49 and 50+) age groups benefited the most in relative terms from the fall in unemployment. In the case of women, the unemployment rate actually increased for all groups except the 35-to-39-year age group. The highest unemployment rate of any group in Q1/2011 was experienced by women 20-to-24-years old: 57%.
Unemployment Rate
Q1/2011

Source: PCBS, Labor Force Survey.

The average duration of the period of unemployment went down from 16 months in Q4/2010 to 13 months in Q1/2011. Even though the average period of unemployment is still more than twice as long in Gaza as in the West Bank, in Gaza it decreased from 24 months in Q4/2010 to 19 months in Q1/2011, while it increased in the West Bank from 8 to 9 months. Contrary to what was observed in the previous quarter, the period of unemployment was longer for women than for men in Q1/2011. The biggest change observed during the period was for men in Gaza, whose average duration of unemployment decreased from 25 to 18 months.


Average Duration of Unemployment (In Months)
Q1/2011


Source: PCBS, Labor Force Survey.

Fertility and Household Size
Fertility in oPt is estimated to have declined considerably between 1997 and 2010, when it reached 4.2 births. This reduction was experienced in the West Bank and Gaza, although fertility in Gaza remains significantly higher. The fall in fertility rate has been accompanied by a decline in the average size of households, from 6.4 persons in 1997 to 5.9 persons in 2010. Average household size has shrunk in both the West Bank and Gaza, but households in Gaza continue to be generally larger. Whereas average household size declined by 0.5 since 1997 to reach 5.6 persons in 2010 in the West Bank, it declined by 0.4 in Gaza and reached 6.5 persons.
Fertility Rate


Source: PCBS, Family Health Survey (preliminary results).


III. PUBLIC SECTOR
Government revenue in Q1/2011 was 31% higher than in the previous quarter, and 26% higher than in Q1/2010. Government non-wage expenditure decreased by 32% and net lending by 5% in the first quarter of 2011, but wage expenditure increased by 5%. The government deficit shrank considerably to US$183.1 million, but external
budgetary support also fell, to US$166.3. (See further details in Table A3. in Annex A.)
Fiscal Situation
Source: Ministry of Finance.


IV. BANKING SECTOR
Information on bank credit, particularly credit to productive sectors, gives an indication of economic progress and business confidence. Data for oPt show a gradual increase in the use of credit over time, and in Q1/2011 the total value of credit increased by more than 9% to reach US$3,155 million. The proportion of credit destined to
businesses increased by one percentage point and represented 59% of the total in Q1/2011. The proportion of credit absorbed by consumers remained unchanged at
29% during the quarter, and that corresponding to public services decreased by one percentage point to 12%.
Total Value of Bank Credit and Distribution
by Borrowing Entity


Source: PMA.

Most of bank credit is in the form of loans, and their size relative to total bank credit grew by one percentage point to reach 70% in Q1/2011. At the same time, the proportion of overdrafts in total credit decreased, while that of leasing was almost unchanged. (See further details in Tables A4. and A5. in Annex A.)


Distribution of Bank Credit by Type (%)
(Bank Credit by Type in Million US$)


Source: PMA.
Note: The totals may not be exactly equal to the sum of percentages due to rounding.


Q1/2011 saw an increase of 1% in total bank deposits. Deposits stem mainly from the private sector (90% of total deposits), particularly from residents (87%). The proportion corresponding to non-residents increased by almost 5% in Q1, following sharp falls in Q3 and Q4/2010. The proportion of public sector deposits in total deposits contracted by 1% in Q1/2011.

Distribution of Bank Deposits (In Million US$)

Source: PMA
Note: Data do not include deposits of the PM A and commercial banks.

Current accounts are the main form of deposits for residents and non-residents, as well as for government. (See further details in Table A6. in Annex A.) The amount of loans relative to deposits gives an idea of the liquidity of the banking system. In a functioning economy, a relative increase in loans versus deposits (within limits) can be perceived as a positive sign, as monies are not saved but invested or consumed, which in turn stimulates the economy. In oPt, the loan-to-deposit ratio increased from 40% to 43% in Q1/2011 as loans grew much faster than deposits. (See further details in Table A7. in Annex A.)
Total Bank Loans Total
Bank Deposits
and Loan-to-Deposit Ratio

Source: PMA.
Area Licensed for New Construction

Source: Engineering Offices and Consulting Firms.

June 2011 data show an increase of 2% in the area licensed for new construction in the West Bank compared to the previous month. This level is 15% lower than the pre-intifada (August 2000) level. (See further details in Table A9. in Annex A.) (Data for Gaza have not been released.)
Forty-six companies from five economic sectors (banking and financial services, insurance, investments, industry, and services) are currently listed in the Palestinian Stock Exchange. At the end of June 2011 market capitalization was about US$2.8 billion. Data for the month of June show a decrease of approximately 58% in the number of shares traded and 46% in the value of shares traded. Of the 39 companies traded in the month, 11 were gainers and 27 were decliners.
The Al-Quds index declined by 1.2% in June 2011.

Securities Trade

Source: Palestine Securities Exchange.

VI. TRADE
Exports of goods increased by 10% in May 2011, reaching US$67.7 million. Palestinian exports of goods to Israel increased by 9% in May, while those to other countries increased by 24%. Israel continues to be the main market for Palestinian goods, absorbing 93% of total exports from oPt in May 2011.
Goods Exports from oPt
May 2011

Source: PCBS.
Goods Imports to oPt
May 2011


Source: PCBS.


In the case of imports of goods, they decreased by 3% in May 2011, amounting to US$396.4 million. Imports from Israel decreased by 15% during the month and represented 67% of total imports. Imports from other countries increased by 33% compared to April 2011. A trade deficit of US$328.7 million was registered in May 2011, reflecting a 5% decrease from the previous month.


VII. GAZA STRIP
There was an increase in the amount of cooking gas imported in Gaza in June 2011, with 2,805 tons allowed in through Kerem Shalom (Karm Abu Salem). This represents a 3% increase compared to the volume imported in May 2011.

Volume of Registered Fuel Sales in the Gaza Strip


Source: General Petroleum Corporation,Ministry of National Economy.
Note: On 1 January 2010, Israel declared Nahal Oz fuel pipelines closed, with fuel being transferred to Gaza only via Kerem Shalom.

Gaza Imports


Source: UNSCO.
Note: Karni crossing has remained closed since 12 June 2007 for the movement of goods in and out of
Gaza, and on 1 March 2011 Israel closed the conveyor belt at Karni, too.

June 2011 data show a 13% decrease in the total number of truckloads imported into the Gaza Strip compared to May 2011 (See further details in Table A10. in Annex A.)

Of the 4,194 truckloads entering Gaza through Karem Shalom during the month, 3,227 (77%) were for the private sector and the remaining 967 (23%) were designated for humanitarian aid agencies. Food items made up 33% of imported goods (1,389 truckloads), while the remaining 67% of imports (2,805 truckloads) were non-food items. Five hundred and seventy-two truckloads entering Gaza brought materials for approved international humanitarian building projects, including 420 truckloads (28,973 tons) of gravel, 124 truckloads (4,924 tons) of cement and 28 truckloads (888 tons) of steel bars for UNRWA, UNDP, PWA, USAID, Palestinian Medical Relief Society and ANERA building projects.

Following the June 2010 decision to ease the closure of Gaza, monthly import levels have averaged 4,218 truckloads.


Gaza Imports


Source: UNSCO.
Note: The figures exclude gravel imported through Karni in February-May 2007. They also exclude imports through Rafah and Erez.


On 8 December 2010 Israel announced its intention to gradually expand the number and range of exports permitted from Gaza. According to this announcement, allowed exports will include agricultural produce, furniture and textiles.


Gaza Exports


Source: UNSCO.


In June 2011 no exports left Gaza. During the last cash crop export season, which lasted from 28 November 2010 to 15 May 2011, a total of 290 truckloads were exported via Kerem Shalom: 210 truckloads (397.6 tons) of strawberries, 74 truckloads (10,668,520 stems) of carnations, 3 truckloads (6 tons) of sweet peppers, and 3 truckloads of cherry tomatoes (6.7 tons). In May, the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC) indicated that the cash crops exports season for 2010/2011 had ended.


ANNEX A: Statistical Reference Tables
Table A1.
Consumer Price Index (2004=100) by Major Expenditure Group


Source: PCBS.



Table A2.
Rate of Unemployment and Adjusted Unemployment (%)


Source: PCBS, Labor Force Surveys.


Table A3.
Fiscal Indicators (Million US$)




Source: Ministry of Finance.
Note: Comparable data prior to Q1/2008 are not available.


Table A4.
Bank Credit by Borrowing Entity

Source: PMA.
Note: The totals may not be exactly equal to the sum of percentages due to rounding


Table A5.
Bank Credit by Economic Activity

Source: PMA.
Note: The totals may not be exactly equal to the sum of percentages due to rounding.


Table A6.
Bank Deposits by Sector and Type (Million US$)


Source: PMA
Note: Data do not include deposits of the PMA and commercial banks.

Table A7.
Total Loans, Total Deposits and Loan-to-Deposit Ratio


Source: PMA.



Table A8.
Number of New Company Registrations by Legal Status

Source: Ministry of National Economy.


Table A9.
Area Licensed for New Construction (Square Meters)

Source: Engineering Offices and Consulting Firms.


Table A10.
Gaza Truckload Movement

Source: Ministry of National Economy (Aug 2000); General Petroleum Corporation (other periods).
Note: Truckload imports exclude industrial diesel supplies to powerplant.

ANNEX B: Terms and definitions

Adjusted unemployment rate The adjusted unemployment rate presents the number of unemployed according to the relaxed definition as a percentage of the labor force. The relaxed definition of unemployment includes all persons aged 15 or over who are unemployed plus those who, during the reference period, are without work, are available for work but did not seek work (and therefore could not be classified as unemployed) because they felt that no work would be available to them. The adjusted unemployment rate gives a broader measure of the unutilized supply of labor. The relaxation of the standard definition of unemployment makes sense in circumstances where the conventional means of seeking work are of limited relevance, where the labor market is largely unorganized, where labor absorption is inadequate or where the labor force is largely self-employed.

Al-Quds index: This is the primary stock index of the Palestine Securities Exchange (PSE).

Area licensed for new construction: This is the area licensed for construction in new and existing buildings.

Average daily net wage: This average is calculated as the total net wages paid to all employees divided by total workdays. Wages received in different currencies are converted into New Israeli Shekels according to the exchange rate in the survey month.

Bank credit: It measures the borrowing capacity provided to individuals, firms and organizations by the banking system in the form of loans or other types of credit. Credit is generally believed to contribute to economic growth.

Bank deposits: Deposits are accounts maintained by a bank on behalf of customers. This indicator is often used to measure the safety of and people’s trust in the banking system.

Consumer Price Index (CPI): The CPI is a statistical tool used to measure changes over time in the prices paid by households for a basket of goods and services that they customarily purchase for consumption. The CPI is used to measure inflation over time.

The main categories of goods and services included in the basket of goods are: fruits, vegetables and other food items, beverages, tobacco, textiles, clothing, footwear, furniture, household appliances, household utensils, fuel, power, transportation, communications, medical and pharmaceutical products, goods for personal care, services charges for public transport, communication, hospital care, and others, and school fees. Data on prices for consumers are collected through visits conducted by trained staff to selected markets including groceries, supermarkets, markets, restaurants, general services offices, hospitals, private schools, etc.

Effective/partial closure days: Effective closure days are calculated by adding all days when a crossing is fully or partially closed, excluding weekends and holidays. Partial closure means that the crossing is closed for more than one hour but not for a full day, in which case it would be considered fully closed. Weekends and holidays include all Saturdays, half the Fridays (since labor and commercial flows are about half their normal workday level on Fridays) and universally celebrated Jewish and Muslim holidays. Jewish and Muslim holidays which fall on Saturday or Friday are not counted as a holiday but as a Saturday (full day closure) or Friday (half day closure), respectively.

Employed: The “employed” comprise all persons are 15 years or over who were working at a paid job or business for at least one hour during the week prior to the survey, or who did not work but held a job or business for at least one hour during the week prior to the survey, or who did not work but held a job or owned business from which they were temporarily absent (because of illness, vacation, temporarily stoppage, or any other reason) during the reference week.

Exchange rate: The price of one currency stated in terms of another currency is the exchange rate.

Exports: Exports are any good or commodity, shipped or otherwise transported out of the territory to another part of the world, typically for use in trade or sale. Export products or services are provided to foreign consumers by domestic producers.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP): GDP is the total value of all goods and services produced within oPt in a given period of time. When GDP is expressed in constant terms (real GDP), a deflator is used to adjust for changes in money-value. Quarterly data are annualized by multiplying by 4.

GDP per capita: This is the result of the division of GDP by total population. GDP per capita = GDP/Population

GDP rate of change: The rate of change is the percentage change (increase or decrease) of GDP from the previous measurement cycle.
GDP in period (t) — GDP in period (t — 1)/GDP rate of change in period (t) X 100%

Inflation rate: The inflation rate is the percentage change in the price index over time.
Inflation rate in period (t) = Price index in period (t — 1) — Price Index in period (t — 1)/ Price Index in period (t) = 100%

Government total net revenue: It measures the net inflows received by the government, including clearance revenue, tax refunds, and tax and non-tax revenue collected by the Ministry of Finance and other ministries for the consolidated Single Treasury Account (STA).

Government wage expenditure: This is the government's outlay on the wages and salaries of permanent civilian and security employees.

Government non-wage expenditure: This is the part of government expenditure absorbed by operational expenditures, transfers and minor development and capital expenditures.

Government net lending: This term includes transfers to local government to cover clearance revenue, deductions by the Government of Israel for water and electricity, and services by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture.

Government balance: The government balance is the difference between the government’s total net revenue and its expenditures, including wage and non-wage expenditures, net lending and development expenditures.

External budget support It consists of transfers of resources by donor countries to the Palestinian National Authority to help finance its budget.

Imports Imports are the goods and services that are produced by the foreign sector and are purchased by the domestic economy.

Industrial Production Index (IPI) This index is a statistical tool used for measuring changes in the volume of industrial production during a certain period of time. The index uses the change in volume of production for the largest establishment in each industry. The relative share for the main industrial activities represents the percent share of value added of the industrial institutions in 2009 in addition to the value added of olive presses.

Labor force: The labor force consists of all persons of working age (15 years or over) who are either employed or unemployed during a specified reference period.
labor force = employed + unemployed
Excluded from the labor force are those of working age who are neither working nor searching for work. These could be students, retired persons, those in prison, and homemakers.

Loan-to-deposit ratio: This ratio gives the amount of banks’ loans divided by the amount of their deposits. The statistic is often used to assess the banking system’s liquidity. If the ratio is too high it may imply that banks could not have enough liquidity to cover any unforeseen fund requirements. Conversely, if the ratio is too low banks may not be lending and earning as much as they could be. loan — to — deposit ratio = bank loan/bank deposits X 100%

Number of new company registrations: This is the number of new companies that register with the Ministry of National Economy to conduct business operations in oPt.

Number of shares traded: It is the amount of shares that trade hands from sellers to buyers in the market over a given period.

Underemployment: Underemployment exists when a person’s employment is inadequate in relation to specified norms or alternative employment. Time-related underemployment applies to those who involuntarily work less than the normal duration of work determined for the activity and who seek or are available for additional work during the reference week.

Unemployment rate: The "unemployed" comprise all persons aged 15 or over who, during the week before the survey, were without work, available for work and seeking work. The unemployment rate expresses the number of unemployed as a percentage of the total labor force. The indicator is widely used as a measure of unutilized labor supply.
unemployment rate = unemployed/labor force X 100%

Value of shares traded: The value of shares traded is the sum of the shares traded multiplied by their respective matching price.


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