Sharp increase in trade deficit, slight rise in exports
Israel's trade deficit recorded a 34.6% increase in 2012, the Central Bureau of Statistics has reported.
Industrial exports drop 5% in October-November, leading to cumulative decline of 9% since beginning of 2012
A slight rise of 0.2% was recorded in the export of goods, compared to a 7.1% increase in the import of goods.
The last quarter of 2012 saw a 10.1% drop in the export of goods and a 17.8% decline in the import of goods.
On Sunday, the Finance Ministry posted a budget deficit of NIS 39 billion (about $10.5 billion) for 2012, making up 4.2% of gross domestic product – double the government target.
Israel's economy grew an estimated 3.3% in 2012, its slowest pace in three years due to scant export growth, but still outperformed many other developed countries.
Growth slowed from a 4.6% spurt in 2011, mainly due to recessions in Europe, Israel's largest trading partner, weak growth in the United States and slower growth in Asia.
Reuters contributed to this report