Intifada precipitates dramatic fall in Israel's GDP
The four-month-old Palestinian uprising triggered a 9.8 percent slide in Israel's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) during 2000's final quarter, the central bureau of statistics said Thursday, February 15. The wave of bloodshed, which has now left more than 400 dead, slammed the brakes on a year of tremendous economic growth, with the GDP surging by 6.5 in the second to a record 9.3 percent in the third quarter.
Even with 2000's dark end, Israel's growth still stood at 6.0 percent for the year.
Since the start of the uprising, Israel's hammering blockade on the West Bank and Gaza Strip has crippled the Palestinian economy and taxed Israel. The border closures have cut off Israel's supply of 125,000 Palestinian labourers, provoking a labour shortage in Israel's construction, agriculture and service industries and costing the Palestinian territory $1.15 billion, according to the United Nations.
Israel's tourism industry took a severe hit with its revenues dropping by 58 percent in the fourth quarter over the third. Likewise, agricultural exports fell by 32 percent in the final quarter. Israel's GDP per capita, a measure of individual wealth, dropped by 12.2 percent in the final quarter. Still, for the year, GDP per capita rose by 3.4 percent after a drop of 0.2 percent in 1999, to 71,684 shekels, or nearly $18,000. —(AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)