Israel’s economic slowdown more pronounced than initially reported

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The Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics building. Credit: Effi B. via Wikimedia Commons.

The Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics building. Credit: Effi B. via Wikimedia Commons.

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), which several weeks ago said that the Israeli economy grew at an annualized rate of 1.7 percent during the second quarter of 2014, revised its assessment on Tuesday, saying growth in that quarter was only 1.5 percent on an annualized basis.

According to the agency, the modest growth resulted from private consumption, which experienced a 4.3-percent rise, as well as a 3.2-percent increase in government spending. These factors, the CBS said, helped Israel maintain a growth trajectory despite an economic slowdown. By comparison, the Israeli economy grew at an annual rate of 2.7 percent in the first quarter of 2014 and 2.5 percent in the last quarter of 2013.

A CBS official said that increased consumer activity—which is usually associated with the High Holidays—came early this year as a result of Operation Protective Edge, noting that private consumption recovered and even grew once the operation ended. Retailers whose revenues suffered during the Gaza campaign saw sales bounce back after the cease-fire was announced, a trend evidenced by a surge in credit card transactions in August.

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