Positive figures, yet lower than annual forecast
The Central Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday updated its assessment of the Israeli economy's growth rate in the first half of 2012, from 3% to 3.2%, following a 3% increase in the business sector gross domestic product, a 6.5% rise in exports and a 4% hike in gross capital formation in fixed assets.
Despite the more positive assessment than the one made by the CBS after the initial processing of economic figures compiled in the first half of the year, the growth rate is still significantly lower than recorded in 2011 (4.6%) and in 2012 (5%).
In addition, the growth figures presented Wednesday are lower than the annual forecast for 2012 published by the CBS before the Jewish New Year, which referred to a 3.5% growth in 2012.
Jewish state slips to 26th place in report published by World Economic Forum. Most problematic factor for people doing business in Israel said to be inefficient government bureaucracy
The current growth figures are the result of complementary information compiled in the past month regarding the performance of large companies, the arrival and departure of tourists, construction, employment, imports and exports, and wages.
The data point to a 3.4% growth in the second quarter of the year, mainly due to a 23.3% jump in exports and an increase in consumption expenditure, following several months of a significant slowdown in these clauses.
In total, since the beginning of the year there has been a 6.5% rise in exports, a 4% increase in gross capital formation in fixed assets and a 2.6% hike in consumption expenditure per capita. These are positive figures, but they appear to have several concerning aspects.
The rise in the export of goods and services followed a 4.1% drop in this clause in the second half of 2011 and a 7.8% increase in the first half of 2011. In other words, compared to the same period last year, exports in Israel have fallen and we may even see a slowdown in the second half of the year.
The gross capital formation in fixed assets, which reflects the extent of new businesses and the expansion of existing businesses, is also showing a downward trend. Since the beginning of the year it has recorded a 4% rise compared to a 14.1% increase in the second half of 2011 and a 17.9% increase in the first half of the year.
Consumption expenditure per capita increased after falling in the second half of 2011, but the consumption rate is still lower than in the same period in 2011.