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Palestinian unemployment rises during 2012

Official figures show that unemployment in the Occupied Palestinian Territories during the first nine months of 2012 rose by just over 2 points to reach 23 per cent. A report issued by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics on Sunday noted that the equivalent figure for 2011 was 20.9 per cent. The breakdown between the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip stands at 19.2 and 30.6 per cent respectively. The rise is attributed to a lack of jobs, not an increase in the size of the workforce.

The Bureau recorded a 6.1 per cent GDP growth in the Palestinian territories during the period that the report covered, bringing the per capita gross domestic product up to 2.9 per cent.

In terms of foreign trade in the OPTs, the first nine months of this year witnessed a slight increase in the volume of exports by 0.5 per cent and in the volume of imports by 0.1 per cent compared with the same period last year, whilst the trade deficit declined by 10.6 per cent.

According to the report, the average consumer prices rose in the Palestinian territories to the end of September by 2.9 per cent, reducing the purchasing power of Palestinian consumers during this period.

The Gaza Strip remains under an Israeli economic and financial blockade, while Western governments have poured investment into Ramallah in support of the pro-West government of prime minister Salam Fayyad.

Middle EastNews
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