Israel: PMI moderates at the start of Q2 but remains in expansionary territory
The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), produced by Bank Hapoalim in conjunction with the Israeli Purchasing & Logistics Managers Association (IPLMA), came in at 54.0 points in April, which was down from 54.7 points in March. However, the index remained well entrenched above the crucial 50-point threshold that separates expansion from contraction in activity, where it has been for five consecutive months.
The moderation reflected weakening growth in new export orders, a drop in stocks of finished goods and softening employment growth. At the end of the first quarter of this year, the unemployment rate stood at a historical low of 3.7%. This likely caused capacity constraints, with vacancies increasingly difficult to fill. On a more positive note, domestic new orders growth picked up strongly from the prior month; this was partly reflected in a small increase in production output growth. Regarding prices, input inflationary pressures eased somewhat in April but remained elevated.