The report is divided into six 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 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.
Sanitation Infrastructure in Educational Establishments in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip
The infrastructure available in educational establishments for disposing of wastewater shows marked differences between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. In particular, connectivity to the wastewater network is more prevalent in the Gaza Strip (77%), with the notable exception of the Khan Yunis governorate (11%), than in the West Bank (32%). On the other hand, more than half of educational establishments in the West Bank (52%) use porous cesspools as a disposal method, as compared to only a fifth (19%) in the Gaza Strip.
A porous cesspool is a hole dug in the ground that is loosely lined on the inside. Wastewater flows into the pit, and the liquids filter through the gaps in the lining and are absorbed into the earth.
This type of cesspool is useful when a connection to a wastewater network is not available, but it presents serious environmental and sanitary concerns. A major problem with it is that the liquids that leach in the ground are tainted, and eventually the soil around the cesspool becomes polluted. In addition, the untreated wastewater can infiltrate any nearby groundwater supply and contaminate it, seriously affecting the quality of the underground water and even making it unfit for human consumption. The use of porous cesspools is, therefore, especially dangerous in communities where neighbors depend on wells for their water.
These findings confirm the urgent need for rehabilitation and expansion of the drainage and wastewater network in oPt.
Source: PCBS. Note: Base year is 2004. Comparable data prior to Q2/2004 are not available from PCBS.
Compared to the second quarter, economic expansion in Q3/2010 was greatest in the construction sector (14.3%), and the sharpest decline was observed in agriculture (22.8%). The main economic activities in oPt continue to be services (21.6% of total GDP) and public administration and defense (14.5% of total GDP).
In the Gaza Strip the CPI increased slightly, pushed by a rise in the price of restaurants and cafes. The most significant decline in prices in Gaza during the month was in miscellaneous goods and services.
In East Jerusalem the CPI rose, pushed primarily by an almost 5% rise in cost of transportation. The price of food and soft drinks saw the biggest decline, followed by the cost of medical care and communications.
II.c Exchange rates
Both the NIS and the JOD fell against the euro in January 2011. The NIS rose against the US dollar, while the JOD’s exchange rate to the US dollar is constant at 0.71.
In Q4/2010, average daily net wages rose for workers in all areas, most notably for those who work in Israel and settlements. They showed a modest increase in Gaza, where average daily wages remain only about 70% of wages in the West Bank.
Source: PCBS, Labor Force Survey.
Note: The data by age group are for Q3/2010, when overall employment was 26.6%. Data for Q4/2010 are not available from PCBS.
A similar situation is observed with regards to wages. The lowest average wages are found in Gaza, with a low average of around NIS55 a day in Khan Yunis and a high of NIS71 in Rafah. In the West Bank, average daily wages range from around NIS75 in Jericho to NIS145 in Jerusalem.
Source: PCBS, Labor Force Surveys.
aAdjusted unemployment includes those who are unemployed and those too discouraged to look for work (see detailed definition in Annex B).
Q4/2010 saw an increase of close to 3% 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 declined by almost 30% in Q4, following a sharp fall of 44% in Q3/2010. The proportion of public sector deposits in total deposits doubled to 10% between Q2/2000 and Q4/2010. Similarly, the proportion of government deposits in total public sector deposits has grown notably over time.
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 9 days during January 2011. One thousand and five truckloads of animal feed, wheat and gravel for UNRWA and the Coastal Municipalities Water Utility entered Gaza via the conveyor belt. Of the 2,978 truckloads entering Gaza through Karem Shalom during the month, 2,724 (91%) were for the private sector and the remaining 254 (9%) were designated for humanitarian aid agencies. Food items made up 44% of imported goods (1,310 truckloads), while 56% of imports (1,668 truckloads) were non-food items.
In January 2011 Israel allowed Gaza to export strawberries, flowers and sweet peppers to Europe and the West Bank. In total, 88 trucks of strawberries (167.6 tons), 17 trucks of carnations (2,762,000 stems) and 2 trucks of sweet peppers (5 tons) were exported to the West Bank and Europe via the Kerem Shalom crossing.
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. 16
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 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 rate of change - The rate of change is the percentage change (increase or decrease) of GDP from the previous measurement cycle.
Inflation rate - The inflation rate is the percentage change in the price index over time.
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. 17
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.
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. 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.
Number of new company registrations - his 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.
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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