The Palestinian economy contracted by 4.9 percent in the first quarter of 2020

Official data showed that the Palestinian GDP decreased by 4.9 percent during the first quarter of 2020, on a quarterly basis, compared to the last quarter of 2019.

The Palestinian Authority's Central Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday that gross domestic product contracted by 4.6 percent in the West Bank and 6.1 percent in the Gaza Strip during the first quarter of 2020.

The most significant decrease in the first quarter was in agriculture, forestry and fishing activities by 9 percent, mining and manufacturing, water and electricity 9 percent, construction by 21 percent, information and communications by 5 percent.

The Palestinian statistics stated that the gross domestic product, on an annual basis, contracted by 3.4 percent compared to the first quarter of 2019.

The value of gross domestic product during the first quarter of 2020 at constant prices in the West Bank was $ 3.150 billion, while the value in the Gaza Strip was $ 670 million.

While per capita GDP in Palestine at constant prices reached $ 802 during the first quarter, registering a decrease of 6% compared to the fourth quarter of 2019.

The Palestinian economy had not recovered from the crisis of clearing funds with the Israeli occupation, which had been ravaged by its economic indicators from February 2019 until the beginning of last October, until the crisis of the "Corona" virus came.

Clearing, are Palestinian tax revenues that the Israeli government collects on behalf of the Authority, on the latter's imports from Israel and abroad, in exchange for a 3 percent commission.

The average of clearing funds is about $ 200 million per month, from which Israel will deduct about $ 40 million for the eight services imported by the Palestinians, especially electricity.

The clearing revenues constitute about 63 percent of the total Palestinian general revenue.

Even as it receives clearance revenue, the Palestinian Authority faces a sharp decline in its revenue as a result of the interruption of economic activities due to the Corona pandemic, including a decrease in clearing revenue itself due to a 50 percent drop in import and consumption over the past three months.


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