Main reports: Over 200 people attended the London Business Forum on Trade and Investment with Palestine on 15-16 December. The conference was addressed by UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad and Quartet Representative, Tony Blair. It focused on building real links between the Palestinian and British ICT, construction, finance, tourism and agricultural sectors.
Unemployment rose from 25.8% in Q2 2008 to 27.5% in Q3 2008 (according to the ILO definition). The West Bank saw a substantial increase in unemployment, from 16.3% in Q2 2008 to 20.7% in Q3 2008. In the Gaza Strip, the rate fell from 45.5% to 41.9% in the same period.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) saw a minor decrease in November 2008 of -0.8% from October 2008. The Construction Cost Index (CCI) declined by -1.8% in November 2008 compared with October 2008. Steel dropped substantially by -16%.