The PMA has released the results of its extended Business Cycle Index (extended PMABCI) for September 2018. The results revealedthat the overall index improved slightly during September due to the pickupin both the West Bank’s index and Gaza Strip’s index. As such, the overall extended PMABCIincreased from -3.8 points in August to around -3.2 points in September. Moreover, it remained higher than the index of September 2017 (-6.9 points)
In the WB, most sectors experienced al limited increases, which pulled the WB’s index up from 7.3 points to 7.9 points between August and September this year. Trade sector index led the increase on the overall index of WB (from 2.5 points to 3.9 points). Agriculture index came second with an increase from 1.8 points to 2.2 points. Then construction from -0.1 points to 0.2 points. Information and technology sector index increased from 0.1 points to 0.3 points. On the other hand, renewable energy sector index stabilized at 0.02 points. While industry and transport and storage sectors indices declined from 2.7 points to 1.0 point and from 0.3 points to 0.2 points respectively.
Overall, the rise in the West Bank's index reflected higher production and sales during September, but with pessimistic future expectations about production and employment in the coming three months, as indicated by the economic firms' owners.
In GS, the index increased slightly during September, from -30.0 points in August to -29.5 points in September. Sector indices witnessed diverse directions during September. From one hand, Trade sector index grew from -20.6 points to -17.8 points, and renewable energy index grew from -0.1 points to 0.02 points. While on the other hand, industry sector index declined from -4.7 points to -6.6 points, construction sector index declined from -1.6 points to -2.0 points, and information and technology index declined from -0.1 points to -0.2 points. At the same time, indices of agriculture, and transport and storage have both maintained their previous levels at -2.0 points and -0.9 points respectively.
It is worth noting that the Gazan index register mostly negative values, which reflects the adverse long-lasting political and economic conditions in the Strip, the continued Israeli siege, and the prolonged delays in reconstruction efforts. Moreover, production and sales levels slipped during this month as indicated by Gazan firms' owners. They also showed pessimistic future expectations about production, but they were optimistic about the level of employment in the coming three months.
It is noteworthy that the extended PMABCI is a monthly index, which aims at capturing the state and evolution of economic activity in Palestine by tracking sectoral performance (especially fluctuations in production and employment levels). The maximum value of the index is positive 100 points, while the minimum is minus 100 points; a positive value indicates favorable economic performance, while a negative value indicates bad performance. On the other hand, a value close to zero indicates that economic performance did not change and is unlikely to do so in the near future.