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PCBS: Deficit in 'Current Account' reaches $445 million

Dec. 23, 2018 11:21 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 23, 2018 1:38 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) and the Palestine Monetary Authority (PMA) said on Sunday that an incessant deficit was witnessed in the Current Account (goods, services, income, current transfers) in the fourth quarters of 2018 which amounted to $444.7 million, marking an increase of 19.1% compared to the previous quarter.

PCBS along with PMA said in a statement that the deficit was mainly triggered by the deficit of the Trade Balance of Goods, which reached $1,254.7 million, as well as the deficit in Services Balance, which amounted to $265.9 million.

The surplus in Income Account (compensations of employees and investments income) amounted to $608.8 million with an increase of 0.8% compared to the previous quarter. This surplus was due to compensations of the employees working in Israel, which reached $567.8 million.

As for the received investments income, it amounted to $77.6 million; and was mainly caused by the income received on the portfolio investments abroad, in addition to the interest received on the Palestinian deposits in banks abroad.

The Current Transfers achieved a surplus value amounted to $467.1 million with an increase of 3.8% compared to the previous quarter. This was due to the increase of the transfers of donors to the government sector. The transfers to the government sector contributed with 30.7% of total transfers from abroad, while the transfers to other sectors was 69.3%. The donors’ current transfers constituted 31.4% of total transfers from abroad.

The preliminary results showed a surplus value for the Capital and Financial Account amounted to $574.0 million, the surplus in the Capital and Financial Account was mainly caused by the surplus in the Capital Account which reached $110.6 million, and the surplus in Financial Account which amounted to $463.4 million. There was a decrease in the reserve assets at PMA amounted to $39.5 million, compared to a decrease of $28.8 million in the previous quarter.

In addition, the Balance of Payments (BoP) is used to determine the economic position of a country compared to other countries worldwide, and to calculate the size of its external debt. This data enables researchers and decision makers to devise informed economic policies and development plans to improve their external balance to guarantee the stability of the state and sustain the economic growth.

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