Bounceback from Covid Closures Hits 15 Percent

YERUSHALAYIM -
The Big Shopping Center in the Israeli town of Yehud, which reopened during the summer. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

Israel’s economy grew by 15.4% in the second quarter of 2021, a reflection of its emergence from coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions earlier in the year, Globes reported on Monday, quoting the Central Bureau of Statistics.

In the first half of the year, the Israeli economy grew by 5.3% on an annualized basis, compared with the second half of 2020. The first half figure basically confirmed the Bank of Israel’s 5.5% prediction for growth this year.

The economy took off in the second quarter, surpassing other OECD countries: Belgium (14.5%), Canada (13.8%), US (12.2%), Austria (11.4%), But lower than Portugal (15.4%), Italy (1.3%), and France (18.7%).

Car imports in particular, drove the upswing, totalling 12.4% in GDP growth in the second quarter of 2021.

GDP per capita rose by 13.5% on an annualized basis in the second quarter. Private consumption, responding as expected to the lifting of Covid restrictions, grew 36.3%, according to government figures.

Exports of goods and services (not including diamonds and startups) rose 14%; exports of services rose 30.2% on an annualized basis (and 6.8% on a quarterly basis).

Globes stressed that the 15 percent growth figure should not be construed as an indicator of an imminent giant expansion of the Israeli economy, just a corrective to the contracted conditions of the pandemic.