Report: Palestinian GDP declines 12% in 2020

Palestinians wearing protective masks maintain social distancing while waiting in ATM line during the coronavirus pandemic in Gaza City (Ali Jadallah - Anadolu Agency])

Middle East Monitor  /  December 21, 2020

Palestinian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) declined by 12 per cent in 2020 compared to 2019 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a joint statement, the Palestinian Monetary Authority and the Palestinian Bureau of Statistics said that most economic activities shrunk this year, which led to a significant decrease in the per capita income.

The Palestinian economy witnessed a decline of around four per cent in 2020 compared to 2019.

According to the statement, this decline deepened with the impacts of the pandemic, which made the Palestinian government take a number of emergency measures, including partial and total lockdowns.

Israel’s withholding of Palestinian tax revenues collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA) for about six months also had a negative impact on the economy, the statement said, with those revenues constituting 70 per cent of the total Palestinian income and being the main source of income to cover the government’s expenditure.

In addition, the statement said that the construction activity witnessed a decline of 35 per cent, followed by industry activity which declined 12 per cent, and agriculture which witnessed a decrease of 11 per cent.

The statement also stated that the volume of trade exchange to and from Palestine reached $10 billion in 2020 with a decline of ten per cent compared to the previous year.

More than 66,000 employees lost their jobs this year, leading to an increase in the unemployment rate which reached 27.8 per cent.

The total number of employees in the labour market dropped from 951,000 in 2019 to 884,00 in 2020.