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West Bank: Economy

Economy West Bank
Economy - overview:
Real per capita GDP for the West Bank and Gaza Strip (WBGS) declined by about one-third between 1992 and 1996 due to the combined effect of falling aggregate incomes and rapid population growth. The downturn in economic activity was largely the result of Israeli closure policies - the imposition of border closures in response to security incidents in Israel - which disrupted labor and commodity market relationships between Israel and the WBGS. The most serious social effect of this downturn was rising unemployment; unemployment in the WBGS during the 1980s was generally under 5%; by 1995 it had risen to over 20%. Israel's use of comprehensive closures during the next five years decreased and, in 1998, Israel implemented new policies to reduce the impact of closures and other security procedures on the movement of Palestinian goods and labor. These changes fueled an almost three-year-long economic recovery in the West Bank and Gaza Strip; real GDP grew by 5% in 1998 and 6% in 1999. Recovery was upended in the last quarter of 2000 with the outbreak of violence, which triggered tight Israeli closures of Palestinian self-rule areas and severely disrupted trade and labor movements. In 2001, and even more severely in 2002, Israeli military measures in Palestinian Authority areas have resulted in the destruction of much capital plant and administrative structure, widespread business closures, and a sharp drop in GDP. Another major loss has been the decline in earnings of Palestinian workers in Israel. International aid of $2 billion in 2001-02 to the West Bank and Gaza Strip have prevented the complete collapse of the economy.
GDP:
purchasing power parity - $1.7 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
-22% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $800 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 9%
industry: 28%
services: 63%
note: includes Gaza Strip (1999 est.)
Population below poverty line:
60% (2002 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.2% (includes Gaza Strip) (2001 est.)
Labor force:
NA
Labor force - by occupation:
services 66%, industry 21%, agriculture 13% (1996)
Unemployment rate:
50% (includes Gaza Strip) (2002 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $930 million
note: includes Gaza Strip (2000 est.)
expenditures: $1.2 billion, including capital expenditures of $15 million
Industries:
generally small family businesses that produce cement, textiles, soap, olive-wood carvings, and mother-of-pearl souvenirs; the Israelis have established some small-scale, modern industries in the settlements and industrial centers
Industrial production growth rate:
NA%
Electricity - production:
NA kWh; note - most electricity imported from Israel; East Jerusalem Electric Company buys and distributes electricity to Palestinians in East Jerusalem and its concession in the West Bank; the Israel Electric Company directly supplies electricity to most Jewish residents and military facilities; some Palestinian municipalities, such as Nablus and Janin, generate their own electricity from small power plants
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
NA kWh
Electricity - imports:
NA kWh
Agriculture - products:
olives, citrus, vegetables; beef, dairy products
Exports:
$603 million f.o.b., includes Gaza Strip
Exports - commodities:
olives, fruit, vegetables, limestone
Exports - partners:
Israel, Jordan, Gaza Strip (2000)
Imports:
$1.9 billion c.i.f., includes Gaza Strip
Imports - commodities:
food, consumer goods, construction materials
Imports - partners:
Israel, Jordan, Gaza Strip (2000)
Debt - external:
$108 million (includes Gaza Strip) (1997 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$800 million (includes Gaza Strip) (2001 est.)
Currency:
new Israeli shekel (ILS); Jordanian dinar (JOD)
Currency code:
ILS; JOD
Exchange rates:
new Israeli shekels per US dollar - 4.7378 (2002), 4.2057 (2001), 4.0773 (2000), 4.1397 (1999), 3.8001 (1998), 3.4494 (1997); Jordanian dinars per US dollar - fixed rate of 0.7090 (from 1996)
Fiscal year:
calendar year (since 1 January 1992)

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Transportation
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Source: The CIA World Fact Book 2003

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