Israel Trade August 2018


Israel: Trade deficit widens in annual terms in August, exports contract

September 17, 2018

Israeli exports contracted 0.8% in August over the same month a year ago in USD terms, contrasting July’s revised 5.1% expansion (previously reported: +7.9% year-on-year). Trend data for June–August showed a broad-based deterioration, with exports in low-, medium-low, and medium-high-technology sectors decreasing over the previous rolling quarter. Foreign demand for chemicals and chemical products; basic metals; and wood products, furniture and paper products dropped particularly strongly.

Import growth moderated but remained healthy, registering 15.1% in USD terms in August over a year ago (July: +25.0% year-on-year). Data for the June–August period highlighted continued robust demand for consumer goods and raw materials—particularly agricultural products. Consumer goods imports were chiefly driven by demand for non-durable goods such as clothing and footwear. On the other hand, Israeli demand for investment goods swung from a robust expansion in the previous rolling quarter to a sizable contraction in June–August. Imports of machinery and equipment, and transport equipment for investment recorded noticeable drops.

As a result, the trade deficit widened to USD 2.7 billion from the USD 1.8 billion shortfall recorded in the same month a year prior, while the 12-month rolling trade deficit widened from USD 22.2 billion in July to USD 23.2 billion in August.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect exports and imports to grow 4.9% and 6.7% in 2018, respectively. Our panel expects a trade deficit of USD 11.2 billion in 2018. For 2019, panelists see exports growing 5.3%, imports growing 5.0% and the trade deficit widening to 11.6 USD billion.

Author:, Economist

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Israel Trade Chart

Israel Trade August 2018

Note: 12-month sum of trade balance in USD billion and annual average variation of the 12-month sum of exports and imports.
Source: Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) and FocusEconomics calculations.

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