Main reports: PCBS released its economic forecast scenarios for the year 2009. The baseline scenario forecasts a 3.1% decrease in real GDP, a 5.9% decrease in GDP per capita and a decrease in both exports and imports by 8.2% and 5.8% respectively. This assumes that the situation in the Palestinian Territory remains as it was in 2008.
The Islamic National Bank opened in Gaza on 21 April, making it the first bank to operate outside of Palestinian Monetary Authority control. The bank has capital of $20m and does not suffer problems of liquidity. The bank opened 6,000 personal accounts for civil servants, into which their salaries will be directly paid.
Palestinian Electric Company posted net profits of $6.9m for the year 2008 (up from $4.6m in 2007). It will distribute cash dividends to shareholders of 10% of capital.
PCBS reported that the percentage of Palestinian businesses expecting production to rise over the medium term (six months) was 48.4% higher in the West Bank than those expecting a decline. Gazan businessmen were less optimistic. Only 8.7% more believed that there would be an improvement in the coming six months than those who anticipated a fall, a huge decrease from February 2009 (57.7%).