Exports/Imports Down, Growth Slowing

YERUSHALAYIM (Hamodia Staff) -

Israeli exports plunged in recent months, and imports weren’t doing much better, according to figures released by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics on Thursday.

Exports of goods, excluding diamonds, ships and planes, fell by 14% in February–May 2014, the CBS said. Industrial exports, including mining and quarrying (except for diamonds) fell by an annualized 9% in March–May, after rising by an annualized 1% in December–February.

High-tech exports (which account for 44% of industrialized exports, excluding diamonds) fell by an annualized 10% in March–May, after rising 4% in December–February. Exports of electronic components fell by an annualized 17%. Mixed high-tech exports (36% of total industrialized exports) fell by annualized 9%, including a 20% drop in exports of chemicals and chemical products. Mixed low-technology exports fell by an annualized 14% in March–May and low technology exports fell by 4%.

There was little encouragement on the import side, reflecting a decline in economic activity. Imports of investment goods (excluding ships and planes) fell by an annualized 16% in March-May, in trend figures, after falling by an annualized 9% in December–February.

The decline is a clear sign of the drop in economic activity and will affect medium and long-term growth, Globes said.

Imports of machinery and equipment (two-thirds of imports of investment goods) fell by an annualized 25% in March-May, while imports of transportation vehicles for imports were frozen.