Israelis are living better now than ever before, the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) said in its latest report. Personal spending rose 10 percent in annualized terms in the first quarter of 2018 compared to a year earlier, compared to just 0.4 percent in the previous quarter, and 4.5 percent in the quarter before that. Among the things Israelis bought in the first quarter were appliances of all types, and especially cars.
Purchases of appliances such as refrigerators, washers, dryers, and the like were up 95 percent in the first quarter over a year earlier. Expenditures on cars, meanwhile, were 280-percent greater in the first quarter of 2018 over that figure a year earlier. Construction investments, meanwhile, were down 15.4 percent.
Spending on furniture and jewelry rose 8.1 percent, and Israelis also spent 4.7-percent more on clothing. Outlays for food, beverages, tobacco products, electricity and and gasoline were up 1.1 percent, after rising 2.8 percent in Q4 2017.
Imports also increased in the first quarter, rising by 23.1 percent, after a much smaller 6.1-percent increase in the previous quarter. Security-related imports climbed 67.4 percent, the CBS said.