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PCBS | PCBS: The Consumer Price Index During, March, 03/2020

Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics continues to work on data collection and production of Consumer Price Index in light COVID-19 (CORONA VIRUS) pandemic

The overall CPI for Palestine during March 2020 increased by 0.72% compared with February 2020 (by 0.81% in the West Bank**, by 0.69% in Gaza Strip, and by 0.35% in Jerusalem J1*).

The changes in Palestinian CPI for March 2020 were traced back to changes in prices of the following expenditure sub groups compared with previous month:

Sub Groups

Percent Change

Dried Vegetables

+ 30.17%

Fresh Chicken

+ 10.48%

Potatoes and other Tubers

+ 4.99%

Fresh Fruit

+ 3.85%


+ 3.43%

Short Grain Rice

+ 0.85%

Fresh Vegetables

- 0.59%

The Palestinian CPI during March 2020 increased by 1.11% compared with March 2019 (by 3.36% in Jerusalem J1*, by 1.06% in the West Bank**, and with a slight increase by 0.03% in Gaza Strip).

Notice for Users:
1.    As a result of  CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) outbreak, and the implemented measures to limit its spread, the data collection process for Consumer Price Index has been replaced with data collection via phone and websites for all sale outlets in all of the Palestinian Governorates instead of collecting data face to face from the field.
2.    The number of sale outlets, from which Consumer Prices are collected in the West Bank** and Gaza Strip, reached 2,856 outlets in March 2020. Thus and in light of the temporary closure of many outlets due to applying the Palestinian emergency plan, the percentage for the completion of data collection process is as follows:


Number of Collected Outlets

Number of Non-Collected Outlets

Percentage of Collected Outlets

West Bank**




Gaza Strip








3.    Basic commodities price data were collected in Jerusalem J1* Governorate, where most of them concentrated on food and non-alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, fuel, gas, medicines and cleaning materials. The number of sale outlets collected in Jerusalem J1* was (130 outlets) out of the sample total number (217 outlets) in the governorate; 60% of outlets was collected.
4.    The number of price observations collected to compile the Palestinian Consumer Price index is 38,395 price observations; where 88% was collected in March 2020. Hence, the percentages are as follows within the Palestinian regions:


Number of Actual Collected Observation

Estimated Number of Observations

Percentage of Actual Collected Observation

West Bank**




Gaza Strip




Jerusalem J1*








5.    International recommendations are followed in estimating the missing data, which are mentioned in the Consumer Price Index guide. Moreover,  the (Group Relative Method) is one of the best methods used to estimate the missing data, which is the process of estimating the prices based on the change in the prices of the remaining sources for the same category.  Accordingly and in case of the closure of an entire source on a temporary basis, all the prices of that source are estimated based on the change in the prices of the sources that share the same items which are collected from that source.
6.    The estimate is also used at the (Next Level Up in Aggregation) in case of the disappearance of the index for a whole sub-group or a higher group reaching up to the major groups that constitute the index.
7.    Cases of closings sale outlets were concentrated in the second half of March 2020 after the imposition of the stay-at-home preventive measure, that is during the data collection period of the third and fourth weeks of the month, where most of those closed sale outlets were non-food outlets "clothes, shoes, salons, furniture fairs, restaurants, hotels...etc". Hence, all food outlets and pharmacies were excluded from the closure.
8.    Data from all sale outlets were collected for the first and second week of March 2020 in all Palestinian governorates, which, in return, helped greatly in estimating the missing observations for non-food commodities that are stable in their prices over time, especially for service commodities.

*Data represent those parts of Jerusalem which were annexed by Israeli Occupation in 1967.

**Data exclude those parts of Jerusalem which were annexed by Israeli Occupation in 1967.