from the June 2008 issue

Economy grows faster than expected

Israel's GDP rose by an annualized 5.4% in the first quarter and business product rose by 6.1%, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported today. The results belie the pessimistic forecasts of 4.3% GDP growth by the Ministry of Finance and 3.2% by the Bank of Israel.

The growth is slightly slower than the 5.8% growth in the fourth quarter of 2007 and the 5.9% rate in the third quarter. Business product growth slowed from 7.6% in the fourth quarter and 7.3% in the third quarter.

The Central Bureau of Statistics also reports that exports of goods and services rose by an annualized 12.6% in the first quarter, after rising by 14.7% in the preceding quarter. Imports of goods and services rose by an annualized 18.7% in the first quarter from 6.8% in the preceding quarter. Investment in fixed assets rose by an annualized 9.6%, after falling by 11.8% in the preceding quarter. Private consumption, excluding durable goods, rose by 6.1%. Private consumption of durable goods rose by 18.8% (99% in annual terms) in the first quarter.

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report June 2008

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