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For the third month in a row, decline in the PMA Business Cycle Index in West Bank and Gaza Strip

For the third month in a row, decline in the PMA Business Cycle Index in West Bank and Gaza Strip
PMABCI

RAMALLAH, Wednesday, December 1, 2021 (WAFA) - The results of the Palestine Monetary Authority Business Cycle Index (PMABCI) revealed a drop for the third month in a row in the overall index, from -10.1 point in October to -14.7 point during November, the PMA said today.

This is due to the rise of prices of goods and services during this month, and the deterioration of individuals’ purchasing power, especially for those who are receiving their wages and salaries in other currencies rather than the shekel. In addition to the government statement about the fragile fiscal stance, which may lead to some cuts in public employees' salaries.

As for West Bank, the overall index decreased from 2.5 points in October to -1.3 points in November. In more detail, the manufacturing index decreased from 5.0 points to 1.1 points, followed by the trade index from -5.0 to -7.5, and the transport and storage index from 0.5 to -0.7. While the agricultural index was the only exception, where it increased from 2.2 to 5.8. Other indices remain relatively stable, renewable energy index, and IT and communication at around 0.0 point, while construction index stabilized at around -0.1 point.

In general, surveyed firms in West Bank pointed out an increase in production level, despite the decline in sales for the same period. In the meantime, their expectation in the near future was negative for production and employment levels, due to the shortage of skilled laborers in some sectors, due to their transition from the local market to the Israeli labor market, according to the firms, said the PMA.

In the Gaza Strip, the overall index dropped from -41.1 point in October to -47.5 point in November. Where manufacturing index declined from -2.4 point to -5.0 point because of the war in May, which led to the shutdown of some factories, or not reaching pre-war production levels in others. Transport and storage index decrease from 0.9 to -0.5 due to end of government transportation program, the drop in trade index from -32.5 to -33.6, and finally the fall in the agricultural index from -5.0 to -5.9. However, the remaining indices stayed relatively stable around -0.1 point to renewable energy index, -2.1 points to construction index, and -0.4 point to IT and communication index.

In general, firms’ owners in Gaza Strip indicated that there was an uneven decrease in production and sales levels. While their expectations for the next three months remained negative for production and employment.

M.K.

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