Israel: Trade deficit widens in June as exports contract and import growth picks up pace
July 12, 2018
Exports dropped 4.2% over a year ago in June, a softer contraction compared to May’s revised 5.1% decrease (previously reported: -8.3% year-on-year). Trend data for April–June showed a marked year-on-year drop in exports of high-technology industries; however, exports from less high-technology industries were strong, with chemicals and chemical products exports increasing at a double-digit pace. Foreign demand for manufacturing, mining and quarrying products grew at a soft pace.
On the other hand, import growth sped up from 17.9% year-on-year in May to 21.8% in June. Data for April–June showed a continuation of strong import growth in investment goods, such as machinery and equipment. However, imports of transport equipment for investment contracted sharply. Meanwhile, imports of consumer goods and raw materials expanded.
As a result, the trade deficit widened to USD 2.6 billion in June from a revised USD 2.0 billion deficit in May (previously reported: USD 2.1 billion deficit). The print is notably larger than the USD 1.2 billion deficit registered in the same month last year. The 12-month rolling trade deficit widened from a revised USD 19.9 billion deficit in May (previously reported: USD 20.1 billion deficit) to USD 21.3 billion in June.
Author: Jan Lammersen, Economist