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Brief Overview of Latest Volume
Issue 38, Nov 2014

This issue of the Economic and Social Monitor covers data of the fourth quarter of 2013 and includes statistics for the entire year. The new layout is a response to readers who believe that the inclusion of the performance of the economy throughout the entire year helps them draw comparisons with previous years. The first part of the monitor 36 reviews the most significant developments the global economy saw during 2013. It then analyzes the economic performance of the most developed economies, namely, the United States, the European Union, Japan and the BRICS countries. The first part also reflects on the economic developments in the Middle East and in Israel. Finally, it reviews the political climate in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

The second part examines the key economic changes the Palestinian economy saw during the fourth quarter of 2013 and right through 2013. Additionally, the second section contains 8 textboxes addressing a number of economic issues that have directly or indirectly impacted the economic climate and policy in Palestine. One of these textboxes addresses the appreciation of shekel and the reasons of this appreciation. Also it reviews the Bank of Israel’ attempts to control this appreciation. Moreover, the textbox discuss the impact of this appreciation on the Israeli economy, and on the Palestinian economy as well. Another textbox analyzes actual performance of the financial year 2013 budget versus 2013 draft budget. It also identifies the successes and failures in the process of implementation. The textbox further studies the financial year 2014 draft budget. Another textbox, addresses the Palestinian service exports to Israel. The textbox identifies the nature and the value of these imports versus the Israeli service imports to Palestine.

 

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Economic and Social Monitor
Starting as an annual publication in MAS’s early years, the Monitor became a quarterly publication in 2005. The Quarterly Economic and Social Monitor:
  • Addresses, in figures and analysis, the quarterly developments in the Palestinian economy.
  • Monitors changes in key economic and social indicators reflecting the performance of the economy, {including: the national accounts, labor market, public finance, banking, the Palestine Stock Exchange, prices, purchasing power, tourism, registration of companies, building licenses, attitudes and expectations of owners and managers of industrial plants on economic conditions, the education sector, and living standards}, in addition to providing an in-depth discussion of current topics in Palestine.
  • Addresses theoretical and practical issues directly affecting the economic climate and policy in Palestine.
  • Promotes debate and sensitizes the public to issues pertaining to economic policy.
    Background
  • The Economic and Social Monitoring Unit commenced its work in 1996, two years after the establishment of the Institute,to respond to policymakers’ need for periodic analysis of economic and social variables in Palestine.
  • Until 2005, the Economic Monitor and Social Monitor were published as two separate annual reports.
  • In2005, the monitor became a quarterly publication due to the increasingly rapid changes in the economic and developmental indicators in the Palestinian territories. Additionally, during the same period, there had been a dramatic increase in regard for our publications due to the accuracy and timeliness of the data collected. The change from an annual to a quarterly report reduced the time gap between the collection of statistical data and placing the analysis in the hands of stakeholders. This is crucial for making timely decisions on economic policy.
  • The Monitor is an analytical, informative tool that presents the reader with reliable statistical reports and information about economic and social indicators. It also recommends policy alternatives for policymakers.
  • The monitor contributes to building local, regional, and international capacity by providing key economic and social indicators as well as forecasts to stakeholders.
  • The monitor is prepared in cooperation with the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) and the Palestine Monetary Authority (PMA), with MAS as the editor.
  • Starting in 2011, the edition of the Monitor issued on the fourth quarter of each year has included an annual report consisting of two parts: The first part reviews the most significant global economic developments that occurred during the whole year, and the second part presents the developments in the Palestinian economy during the fourth quarter (October—December) of the year plus the year as a whole
Content
Recurring content, which include:
1. GDP
    1-1 GDP Growth
    1-2 GDP Structure
    1-3 GDP Expenditure
2. The Labor Market
   2.1 Labor Force and Participation Rate
   2.2 Unemployment 
   2.3 Unemployment Among Graduates of Universities and institutions of higher learning
   2.4 Wages and Working Hours
3. Public Finance
   3.1 Revenues and Grants
   3.2 Public Expenditure
   3.3 Financial Surplus / Deficit
   3.4 Accumulation of Arrears
   3.5 Clearance Revenue(commitment basis)
   3.6 Public Debt
4. The Banking Sector
   4.1 Banking System Performance Indicators
   4.3 Check Clearing
   4.4 Banking Penetration
   4.5 Specialized Lending Institutions
5. Investment Indicators
   5.1 Company Registration
   5.2 Building Licenses 
   5.3 Cement Import 
   5.4 Vehicle Registration
   5.5 Hotel Activity
6. Prices and Purchasing Power 
   6.1 Consumer Prices
   6.2 Producer Prices and Wholesale Prices 
   6.3 Construction and Road Costs Index  
   6.4 Prices and Purchasing Power
7. Foreign Trade
    7.1 Balance of Trade  
    7.2 Balance of Payments
    7.3 External Assets, Liabilities and Debt
8. Table of Key Economic Indicators in the West Bank* and the Gaza Strip for the Years 2000-2012
 
Additional Content:
  • PCBS reports on special occasions; for example, on “Palestinian Child Day”, the PCBS issued a report on Conditions of Palestinian Children's.
  • PCBS annual reports on specific topics for which there are no quarterly data available, for example, the Foreign Investments Survey in the occupied Palestinian territory.
  • In 2008, a new content feature was added to the Monitor consisting of in-depth analysis of selective hot economic topics that are presented in separate boxes to separate them from the recurring content and draw the reader’s attention to them. These include topics that have timely importance on the theoretical and applicable level locally, regionally, and internationally at the time they are issued.
  • Since 2008, over 197 such analyses have been published.
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