Israel Trade January 2018

Israel: Trade deficit widens in January; data shows robust growth of high-tech exports

Exports rebounded moderately in January, picking up after plunging at the close of last year. In January, exports logged a 0.9% expansion from a year earlier, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). January’s reading contrasted December’s 4.9% contraction from a year earlier. Exports totaled USD 4.9 billion, coming in above the USD 4.8 billion recorded in the same month last year. Stronger exports from the manufacturing, mining and quarrying industries explained January’s improved reading. Moreover, trend data for November–January showed that exports from high-tech industries rose considerably on an annual basis.

Imports accelerated in January, climbing 10.1% from a year earlier. January’s reading came in ahead of December’s 4.1% increase, and saw stronger imports of investment and consumer goods offset weaker purchases of raw materials. Imports totaled USD 6.0 billion, well above the USD 5.4 billion in receipts recorded in the same month last year. On the other hand, trend data for November–January showed weaker imports of consumer goods, as well as machinery and equipment, on an annual basis.

All told, the trade deficit widened to USD 1.1 billion in January from USD 0.6 billion a year earlier (December: USD 1.8 billion). Additionally, the 12-month moving trade deficit widened from USD 15.0 billion in December to USD 15.5 billion in January.

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