Israel: Trade deficit widens in July despite a pick-up in export growth
August 13, 2018
In USD value terms, Israeli exports expanded 7.9% in July over the same month a year ago, markedly up from June’s revised 2.9% year-on-year increase (previously reported: -4.2% year-on-year). Trend data for May–July showed a softening in growth of manufacturing, and mining and quarrying exports compared to the previous rolling quarter. Exports from high-technology industries contracted, dropping at a sharper rate then in the February–April period. On the other hand, trend data showed continued growth in exports of medium-high and medium-low technology products, while exports of low-technology products such as food, beverages and tobacco expanded at an exceptionally strong pace.
Growth in imports increased 25.0% yoy in July from a 21.8% expansion in June. Data for May–July showed that imports of investment goods decreased at a double-digit rate, chiefly due to a sizable contraction in imports of transport equipment for investments. However, data showed a continuation of growth in consumer goods and raw material imports. Consumer goods imports expanded chiefly on the back of strong demand for non-durable goods, such as clothing and footwear.
As a result, the trade deficit widened to USD 3.2 billion in July from a revised USD 2.3 billion shortfall in June (previously reported: USD 2.6 billion deficit). The print is markedly larger than the USD 2.1 billion deficit registered in the same month last year. The 12-month rolling trade deficit also widened, from a revised USD 21.0 billion deficit in June (previously reported: USD 19.9 billion deficit) to USD 22.2 billion in July.
Author: Jan Lammersen, Economist