Palestinian economy to lose about $2.5 billion due to coronavirus

A healthcare worker checks the body temperature of Palestinian workers returning from Israel, amid concerns over the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), outside the Israeli-controlled Meitar checkpoint, near Hebron in the Israeli-occupied West Bank April 7, 2020. Picture taken April 7, 2020

Ramallah (QNN) – In an economic forecast for the year 2020 in light of the current coronavirus pandemic, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said the Palestinian economy will incur losses of about $2.5 billion in case the coronavirus pandemic lasts for three months, and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will decline by 14% in 2020 compared to 2019.

Following the reporting of coronavirus cases in Palestine in early March, the Palestinian government declared a state of emergency for one month (that was later renewed for another month) and then went into a strict lockdown closing all businesses and barring movement.

The Palestinian news agency WAFA quoted the PCBS as saying that as result of this lockdown and expectations that it will continue for a while, the results indicate that it is expected for the GDP for 2020 to decline by 14% compared to 2019. Hence, the losses of the gross economy (GDP) are estimated to be around $2.5 billion compared to the status quo for 2020, resulting from the decline of the public and private gross consumption, which reached about $1.3 billion, in addition to the decline of the investment of about $2.1 billion and the decline of imports of about $1 billion.

At the level of economic activities, it is expected that the size of the losses in the activity of agriculture, forestry and fishing to be about $200 million, industrial activity $362 million, the activity of constructions $220 million, and the services activities to be $1,175 billion.

Based on the components of the service activities from the economic surveys database and taking into consideration the activities that totally closed such as the hotels and restaurants, passengers transportation and the activities which were closed partially such as the wholesale and retail trade for some goods and stores; the estimates show that for total losses of the service activities of $1,175 million, about 59% of those losses were due to the losses for the wholesale and retail trade activity from the total losses of the services activity ($689 million), and the losses of the other services activity were about 31% of the total losses of the services activity ($374 million ), meanwhile the losses of closing the hotels and restaurants totally were 10% of the total losses of the services activity ($112 million).

(Source / 25.04.2020) 

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