Israel: Trade deficit narrows in February on a rebound in exports and drop in imports
March 19, 2019
Exports swung to an 11.1% expansion in year-on-year USD terms in February, contrasting January’s 9.6% drop, while imports fell a steep 7.4% year-on-year in February in USD terms, swinging from a strong 8.2% increase in January. Consequently, the trade deficit narrowed from USD 1.9 billion in January to USD 1.1 billion in February. This also marked a significant improved from the USD 2.1 billion shortfall recorded in February last year. The 12-month rolling trade deficit also shrank, from USD 22.4 billion in January to USD 21.4 billion in February.
Trend data for December–February showed that exports of high technology industries rebounded from a sharp contraction in the previous rolling quarter (September-November) on the back of robust exports of pharmaceutical products. Medium-high technology goods exports expanded at an elevated pace due to outbound shipments of chemical products. On the other hand, exports of medium-low and low technology goods continued to drop. The same trend data showed higher imports of raw materials, investment goods and consumer goods.
Author: Jan Lammersen, Economist