International Monetary Fund

Economic developments in 2006: A First Assessment

After having experienced a modest recovery in 2003-05, the Palestinian economy suffered another decline in 2006, as a result of the domestic and international political difficulties. Although hard data are scarce, real GDP is estimated to have fallen within a range of 5 to 10 percent in 2006, less than initially had been feared, but still leaving average real per capita GDP at almost 40 percent below its 1999 level. Stronger-than-expected official and private inflows have helped prevent a much sharper decline in incomes and consumption in 2006, thus cushioning the overall contraction. But with a larger decline in investment, from an already low level, this also signals a further hollowing out of the Palestinian¬†economy. 

IMF audit reveals Arafat diverted $900 million to account under his personal control

An audit of the Palestinian Authority revealed that President Yasser Arafat diverted $900 million in public funds to a special bank account he controlled, an International Monetary Fund official said Saturday. The study covers the last three years of economic developments in the West Bank and Gaza. It covers the impact of the conflict on the economy and the banking sector, and it also covers all the fiscal and budgetary developments during a time of crisis. The other kind of main coverage of this study is the whole reform¬†process.