Exports Rise on Strength of Services

A view of the Ashdod port. (Flash90)

Israeli exports grew 5% in 2019 over the previous year, figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics said. Exports for the year totaled $114 billion, the numbers said. Looking forward to 2020, the CBS said it expects exports to rise to over $120 billion. The average increase in exports for Western countries was about 1.1%, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Largely responsible for the increase was a sharp rise – over 11% – in exports of services, many of them connected to high tech. Service exports between 2013 and 2019 rose 60%, with high-tech services again the main engine of growth; exports in that sector grew from $16.5 billion in 2013 to over $33 billion in 2019, an increase of some 100%.

Exports of products other than diamonds rose a modest 3% in 2019 over their 2018 levels. Diamonds themselves suffered a sharp drop in exports, falling 28% from 2018 to 2019. Agricultural exports also fell, by 1.5%.

Economy Minister Eli Cohen said that “the statistics on exports for the past decade show the positive economic situation in Israel. After exports totaled $110 million in 2018, they increased to $114 million in 2019, rising some 70% over the past decade. Exports are very important to the Israeli economy, as they are an engine of growth for the entire economy, and a central linchpin in providing employment opportunities.”