The Israeli economy continued to perform well in the the first quarter. Israel’s Gross Domestic Product rose an annualized 4.2 percent in the first quarter of 2018, a threefold increase over the growth rate in the first quarter of 2017. The current increase is in line with those of recent quarters; the fourth quarter of 2017 saw the economy grow 4.4 percent in annualized terms, while the quarter before that saw growth of 4.1 percent.
The increase is attributed to a sharp rise in personal spending, as well as investments in fixed assets by foreign investors. That increase in personal spending was measured at 8-percent more spending per person in the first quarter. The increase is largely due to a sharp increase in the number of cars imported.
Exports were significantly up as well. Exports of goods and services, not including diamonds and services by high-tech firms, were up 11.4 percent in the first quarter of 2018 in annualized terms compared to a year earlier. That was a continuation of the growth in the fourth quarter of 2017, which was 12.9 percent higher in annualized terms than a year before that. Imports were up as well – 23.1 percent in annualized terms over a year earlier.
In a social media post, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said that the government was “continuing to work hard in order to grow the economy and expand opportunities for economic advancement to all.”