Israel has incurred $3.2 billion in losses since the outbreak of the Palestinian Intifada in October 2000, equivalent to an economic growth of four percentage points, Israel’s Central Bank Research Department revealed in a press release.
The most severely hit sector was tourism, suffering a 45 percent drop in revenues, equivalent to $1.8 billion. The ongoing conflict nearly halved trade volume with the Palestinians, currently valued at $500 million. Other sectors adversely affected by the Intifada were construction, suffering $650 million in losses and agriculture losing $120 million.
Israel’s blockade on the West Bank and Gaza Strip compounded by a slowdown in the country’s high-tech, forced its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) down by 0.5 percent in 2001, its worst performance since 1953, the Central Office of Statistics recorded. Over year 2001, the budget deficit has more than doubled, rising to $3.8 billion, equaling 3.3 percent of GDP, from $1.8 billion in 2000.
The Bank of Israel lowered its base interest rate by two percent from 5.8 percent this past December, in an attempt to revive the nation’s suffering economy. The country’s standard of living has dropped significantly, with GDP per capita falling by 2.9 percent to $17,100 in 2001, after growing by 3.6 percent the year before. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )