Economy of the West Bank

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > West Bank > Map Economy

Economy - overview: Economic output in the West Bank is governed by the Paris Economic Protocol of April 1994 between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Real per capita GDP for the West Bank and Gaza Strip (WBGS) declined by 36.1% between 1992 and 1996 owing 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 established 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%. Since 1997 Israel's use of comprehensive closures has 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 Palestinian violence, which triggered tight Israeli closures of Palestinian self-rule areas and a severe disruption of trade and labor movements.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $3.1 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 4.6% (1999 est.), -7.5% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity -  $1,500 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 33%
industry: 25%
services: 42% (includes Gaza Strip) (1995 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 5% (includes Gaza Strip) (1999 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 13%, industry 13%, commerce, restaurants, and hotels 12%, construction 8%, other services 54% (1996)
Unemployment rate: 14.5% (includes Gaza Strip) (1998 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $1.6 billion
expenditures: $1.73 billion (includes Gaza Strip) (1999 est.)
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
Electricity - production: 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; at the same time, some Palestinian municipalities, such as Nabulus and Janin, generate their own electricity from small power plants.
Agriculture - products: olives, citrus, vegetables; beef, dairy products
Exports: $682 million (includes Gaza Strip) (f.o.b., 1998 est.)
Exports - commodities: olives, fruit, vegetables, limestone
Exports - partners: Israel, Jordan, Gaza Strip
Imports: $2.5 billion (includes Gaza Strip) (c.i.f., 1998 est.)
Imports - commodities: food, consumer goods, construction materials
Imports - partners: Israel, Jordan, Gaza Strip
Debt - external: $108 million (includes Gaza Strip) (1997 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: $800 million pledged (includes Gaza Strip) (1999)
Currency: 1 new Israeli shekel (NIS) = 100 new agorot; 1 Jordanian dinar (JD) = 1,000 fils

SOURCE: The World Factbook

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > West Bank > Map Economy