Israel: Economic activity contracts in March
The Bank of Israel’s Composite State of the Economy Index contracted 0.06% in March compared to the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms, contrasting February’s revised 0.07% expansion (previously reported: +0.26% month-on-month). March’s reading was the first decline in eight years, as containment measures bit into activity.
March’s month-on-month decline was driven by lower exports, imports and job vacancies in March, and service revenue in February. The index is calculated using the latest available data and hence uses a combination of figures from recent months to provide a comprehensive picture of the economy’s performance. As such, the March reading could be revised down going forward as more data becomes available, and readings for Q2 are likely to show a marked decline due to social distancing measures.