Israel: Trade deficit narrows despite steep drop in exports
December 13, 2018
In November, exports contracted 6.7% year-on-year in USD terms, swinging from an upwardly revised 9.9% expansion in October (previously reported: +8.3% year-on-year). The drop in exports came on a broad-based deterioration as attested to by the trend data for September–November. The trend data showed a decrease in exports of high technology; medium-low technology; and low technology goods. High technology exports dropped due to less foreign demand for electronic components and boards while medium-low technology exports suffered from reduced overseas demand for basic metals. On the other hand, medium-high technology goods exports increased, in part thanks to the motor vehicles industry.
Growth in imports, meanwhile, decelerated from a 21.3% increase in October to a 13.6% expansion in November in USD terms. Trend data showed that import growth in September–November was supported by an increase in demand for raw materials, investment goods, and consumer goods.
As a result, the trade deficit narrowed from USD 2.9 billion in October in to USD 1.9 billion in November. This is, however, up from the USD 759 million shortfall in November 2017. The 12-month rolling trade deficit widened from USD 23.9 billion in October to USD 25.0 billion in November.
Author: Jan Lammersen, Economist