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Gaza Strip Economy
Economy - overview:
Economic output in the Gaza Strip - under the responsibility of the Palestinian Authority since the Cairo Agreement of May 1994 - declined by about one-third between 1992 and 1996. The downturn was largely the result of Israeli closure policies - the imposition of generalized border closures in response to security incidents in Israel - which disrupted previously established labor and commodity market relationships between Israel and the WBGS (West Bank and Gaza Strip). The most serious negative social effect of this downturn was the emergence of high 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 decreased during the next few years 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, triggering tight Israeli closures of Palestinian self-rule areas and a severe disruption of trade and labor movements. In 2001, and even more severely in 2002, Israeli military measures in Palestinian Authority areas resulted in the destruction of capital plant and administrative structure, widespread business closures, and a sharp drop in GDP. Including West Bank, the UN estimates that more than 100,000 Palestinians out of the 125,000 who used to work in Israel, in Israeli settlements, or in joint industrial zones have lost their jobs. In addition, about 80,000 Palestinian workers inside the Territories are losing their jobs. International aid of $2 billion in 2001-02 to the West Bank and Gaza Strip prevented the complete collapse of the economy and allowed Finance Minister Salam FAYYAD to implement several financial and economic reforms. Budgetary support, however, was not as forthcoming in 2003.
GDP:
purchasing power parity - $768 million (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
4.5% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $600 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 9%
industry: 28%
services: 63% (includes West Bank) (2002 est.)
Population below poverty line:
60% (2003 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.2% (includes West Bank) (2001 est.)
Labor force:
NA (1997)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 13%, industry 21%, services 66% (1996)
Unemployment rate:
50% (includes West Bank) (2003 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $676.6 million
expenditures: $1.155 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (includes West Bank) (2003)
Industries:
generally small family businesses that produce textiles, soap, olive-wood carvings, and mother-of-pearl souvenirs; the Israelis have established some small-scale modern industries in an industrial center
Industrial production growth rate:
NA
Electricity - production:
NA kWh; note - electricity supplied by Israel
Electricity - consumption:
NA kWh
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
NA kWh; note - electricity supplied by Israel (2001)
Agriculture - products:
olives, citrus, vegetables; beef, dairy products
Exports:
$603 million f.o.b., includes West Bank
Exports - commodities:
citrus, flowers
Exports - partners:
Israel, Egypt, West Bank
Imports:
$1.9 billion c.i.f., includes West Bank
Imports - commodities:
food, consumer goods, construction materials
Imports - partners:
Israel, Egypt, West Bank
Debt - external:
$108 million (includes West Bank) (1997 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$800 million (includes West Bank) (2001 est.)
Currency:
new Israeli shekel (ILS)
Currency code:
ILS
Exchange rates:
new Israeli shekels per US dollar - 4.55 (2003), 4.74 (2002), 4.21 (2001), 4.08 (2000), 4.14 (1999)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
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