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United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO)
31 October 2010
Since 1996 UNSCO has continually monitored and reported on socio-economic conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory and in the process established an extensive socio-economic database. UNSCO does not create raw data but rather uses available data which, in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), are relatively abundant. However, the data that are available tend to remain dispersed and are not always automatically shared between institutions. The objective of the database is to bring together in one place a wide variety of data on socio-economic conditions and by doing so present a broader, more detailed perspective on socio-economic conditions. The purpose of this report is to: 1) broaden the access to this database through publication of the most recent data gathered; and 2) provide readers with up-to-date information on socio-economic conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory.
The report is divided into four sections:
Section 1 consists of a one-page fact sheet which provides a snapshot view of the socio-economic situation for the current and previous reporting periods and it provides, for reference purposes, baseline figures for the period just prior to the outbreak of the second
Sections 2 and 3 report on the macro-economic situation and economic activity throughout the oPt, including private sector and banking activity. Section 4 focuses on access of goods in and out of the Gaza strip. All sections provide data on the last six reporting periods for each indicator as well as baseline data, which are pre
. In addition, a summary analysis on observed trends is presented below each table.
The Palestinian CPI reached 131.36 in October 2010, an increase of 0.52% compared to September 2010.
Increases were recorded in the Food and soft drinks sector (0.85%), in Miscellaneous goods and services
(0.42%) Textiles, clothing and footwear (0.41%) and Medical care (0.15%), while the Communications sector
experienced a 0.08% price decline.
Adjusted unemployment is the total number of unemployed in addition to those who are unemployed and do not seek any employment.
The data indicate that the percentage of unemployed increased from 22.0% in the 1
quarter 2010 to 22.9% in the 2nd quarter of 2010, (compared with 22.2% in the 2nd quarter of 2009). The unemployment rate increased in Gaza Strip from 33.9% in the 1st quarter 2010 to 39.3% in the 2nd quarter of 2010, while in the West Bank it decreased from 16.5% in the 1st quarter 2010 to 15.5% in the 2nd quarter of 2010.
The Tulkarm governorate has the highest unemployment rate among the West Bank governorates (21.3%) followed by the Qalqilia governorate at 19.0%, while the Jerusalem governorate has the lowest unemployment rate (9.7%). For the Gaza Strip, the Deir AlBalah governorate has the highest unemployment rate (43.3%) followed by the North Gaza governorate (41.1%), then Khan Younis governorate (40.7%).
The number of new company registrations is used as a proxy indicator for the vitality of the local economy as
well as the ability of the local economy to create new employment. New company registrations in the West
Bank increased by 30.68% compared to September 2010. When compared to pre-Intifada levels, new
company registrations have declined by approximately 16.06%. For Gaza, data from the local Ministry of
Economy indicate 36 new registered companies in October 2010. On such basis, the number of newly
registered companies in Gaza shows an increase of approximately 12.5% compared to September 2010.
Similar to bank credit and deposits, data on the Palestinian stock exchange are used as a proxy indicator of
Palestinian perceptions vis-à-vis the state of the national economy. Data for October 2010 show an increase
in terms of the number of stocks traded of approximately 47.28% and a decrease in terms of value of shares
traded of approximately 19.84%. The Al-Quds index dropped by 2.43 %.
Similar to new company registrations, the area licensed for new construction is also used as a proxy
indicator for economic vitality. October 2010 data show an increase in the area licensed for new construction
of approximately 46.92% compared to the previous month in the West Bank. When compared to pre
levels, the area licensed for new construction has now experienced a decline of 26.69%.
Data on bank credit is another proxy indicator for economic progress and business confidence (increasing
use of bank credit, particularly in the main productive sectors) or decline (decreasing use of bank credit). The
Palestine Monetary Authority provides adjusted data once every three months. In relative terms, the data
show an increase in the use of credit. Bank credit to the public sector indicates a decline of approximately
5.20% in Q2-2010 when compared with Q1-2010. (Please note the PMA has adjusted the indicators for bank
credit by economic activities starting Q3-2008. Due to such significant changes in the methodology, current
trends cannot be compared to those prior to 2008.
There was a significant an increase in the amount of imported cooking gas, with 3,237 tons allowed in
through Kerem Shalom, which represents an 11.54% increase compared to the volume allowed in
September 2010. During the reporting period, 29,499 liters of petrol and 225,005 Diesel were imported for
UNRWA. 49,000 liters of petrol and 145,000 liters Diesel for the private sector.
On 1 January 2010, Israel declared Nahal Oz fuel pipelines closed, with fuel being transferred to Gaza
only via Kerem Shalom.
October 2010 data indicate an increase in the total number of imported truckloads to the Gaza Strip by
approximately 27%, compared to August 2010 (4,576 vs. 3,614). Karni crossing has remained closed
since 12 June 2007 for the movement of goods in and out of Gaza. The single conveyor belt/chute for
cereals and animal feed at Karni was open for a total of 8 days. Six hundred and eighty truckloads of
animal feed (49%), and wheat (32%) and gravel (19%) for UNRWA, Palestinian Water Authority and
Coastal Municipalities Water Utility entered Gaza via the conveyor belt. Of the 3,744 truckloads entering
Gaza during the month through Karem Shalom (Karm Abu Salem), 276 (or 7.37%) were designated for
humanitarian aid agencies and the remaining 3,468 (or 92.63%) were for the private sector. Food items
made up the majority of imported goods (1,507.5 truckloads, or 40%) while 2,236.5 truckloads, or 60%,
were for non-food items.
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