A slight decline in West Bank versus an improvement in Gaza Strip

Ramallah/PNN/

The results of the PMA Business Cycle Index (PMABCI) revealed a slight increase in the overall index, from -14.7 point during November to -13.7 during December, due to the improvement in Gaza Strip, against a slight drop in the West Bank.

As for West Bank, the overall index declined from -1.3 point in November to -2.2 in December, due to the relatively high level of uncertainty, as well as, the increase in the cost of shipping and raw materials prices. The agriculture index decreased (from 5.8 to 4.0), followed by the manufacturing index (from 1.1 to 0.2) and the construction index (from -0.1 to -0.6). On the other side, the transportation and storage index improved (from -0.7 to 0.6), in addition to the trade index (from -7.5 to -6.8). In the meanwhile, both renewable energy, and IT and communication indices remained relatively stable at around 0.0 and 0.4, respectively.

In general, surveyed firms in West Bank pointed to a higher reduction in production level than that in sales level, which led to a drop in the accumulated inventory. However, the expectations remain positive about employment and production levels in the next three months.
In Gaza Strip, the overall index improved from -47.5 in November to -42.0 in December, though, this fragile improvement is still subject to current conditions. Hence, the agricultural index increased (from -5.9 to -1.5), as well as trade index improved (from -33.6 to -29.9).

On the other hand, the manufacturing index decreased (from -5.0 to -7.5) because of the restrictions imposed by the Israeli occupation on imports, where firms are working under full capacity (less than the normal production level), since the last war in May 2021.

In addition, the transportation and storage index declined (from -0.5 to -0.9). In the meantime, the other indices remained relatively stable at around -0.1 for renewable energy index, -1.8 for construction index, and -0.3 for IT and communication index.

Moreover, the surveyed firms in Gaza Strip pointed to a larger increase in the production level than that of sales, which resulted in an accumulation of inventories. Furthermore, expectations were positive for the next three months, regarding employment and production levels.

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