March 2009


Main reports: Unemployment rose slightly from 27.5% to 27.9% in Q4 2008 in the Palestinian Territory (according to the ILO definition). Unemployment in the West Bank decreased from 20.7% in Q3 2008 to 19.8% in Q4 2008 but rose in Gaza from 41.9% to 44.8% in Q4 2008.

The percentage of Palestinian businesses expecting production to rise over the medium term (six months) in January 2009 was 44.9% higher in the West Bank than those expecting a decline and 70.4% higher in the Gaza Strip, where there was an overall expectation of some improvement after the conflict.

The number of hotel guests in the Palestinian Territory rose to 117,545 in Q4 2008 (an increase of 18.6% from the previous quarter). Guests spent a total of 309,638 nights, (23% more than in Q3 2008). 56% of the total nights were spent in Jerusalem hotels.

The Palestinian Securities Exchange is among the first of the Arab securities exchanges to provide an e-trading service.18.9% of total trading is already conducted online. Eight out of the nine brokerage firms for the PSE now offer online trading; Palestinian companies released their preliminary financial data for 2008.