The PMA Business Cycle Index (PMABCI) – March 2022
Improvement in West Bank and Gaza Strip
The results of the PMA Business Cycle Index (PMABCI) revealed improvement in the overall index, from -11.2 point in February to -0.4 in March, due to the increase in West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The overall index in West Bank increased from -6.6 in February to 5.8 in March. This improvement was led by the significant increase in the manufacturing index (from -5.8 to 2.5), followed by the rise in the construction index (from -1.9 to 1.2) and the transportation and storage index (from 0.6 to 1.9). In the meanwhile, the remaining indices remained relatively stable around 3.6 point for the agricultural index, 0.5 point for the renewable energy index, -4.1 for the trade index, and 0.3 point for the IT and communication index.
In general, the surveyed firms in West Bank pointed to an uneven improvement in production and sales levels, which resulted in an increase in inventory level. In addition, their expectations for production and employment levels in the next three months were positive.
At the same time, the overall index in Gaza Strip increased from -34.7 point in February to -32.6 point in March, due to the variant performance in the sub-indices trends. On one hand, the renewable energy index improved (from -3.2 to -1.6) and the agricultural index (from -1.2 to 0.0). While on the other hand, there was a drop in the construction index (from -7.2 to -8.2) and manufacturing index (from -5.3 to -5.8). While other indices remained relatively stable recording -15.4 point for trade index, -1.5 point for transportation and storage index, and finally, -0.2 point for IT and communication index.
The firms’ owners in Gaza Strip indicated a rise in sales level accompanied by a lesser increase in production level, which caused the drop in inventory. In addition, they expect that both employment and production levels would enhance during the near future.