Israel: Trade deficit shrinks slightly as exports rebound
September 13, 2017
Exports rebounded from two consecutive monthly drops to log annual growth of 12.0% in August, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). August’s result is the second-highest reading of the year to date, contrasting last month’s revised 9.3% year-on-year decrease (previously reported: -13.4% year-on-year). Exports totaled USD 4.3 billion in August, which is above the USD 3.8 billion figure recorded in the same month last year. The result was driven by increased exports of medium-high technology industries, particularly electrical equipment.
Import growth came in at 6.3% yoy in August, up from a revised 6.1% yoy increase in July (previously reported: +6.0% yoy). Greater imports of consumer goods again drove the result, with imports of non-durable goods doing the heavy lifting. Recent trade data indicates fairly robust private consumption which seems unharmed by the evolving political scandal surrounding the country’s prime minister. Imports totaled USD 6.1 billion in August, below the USD 5.7 billion total recorded in the same month last year. The trade deficit shrank slightly from minus USD 2.1 billion in July (previously reported: USD -2.3 billion) to minus USD 1.8 billion in August, as the recovery of exports was stronger than the pace of expansion in imports.
Additionally, the 12-month moving trade balance improved marginally from minus USD 13.1 billion in July (previously reported: USD -13.3 billion) to minus USD 13.0 billion in August.
Author: Jan Lammersen, Economist