The Central Bureau of Statistics today announced unexpectedly strong growth figures for the second quarter of 2013. GDP grew by an annualized 5.1% in the second quarter, after growing by an annualized 2.7% in the first quarter and 3.1% in the fourth quarter of 2012. GDP growth in the second quarter was driven by an annualized 6.7% growth in private consumption, annualized 1.2% growth in exports of goods and services, and an annualized 8.3% growth in public consumption. These were partly offset by an annualized 6.3% drop in investment in fixed assets.
Economists had expected annualized 3% growth in the second quarter; the actual figure is a surprise. The jump in private consumption was apparently due to the VAT hike, which caused people to bring forward purchases of homes and of cars and other consumer durables.
GDP rose by an annualized and seasonally adjusted 3.4% at fixed prices in the first half of 2013, after rising by an annualized 3.5% in the second half of 2012 and 3.1% in the first half of that year.
The standard of living rose by an annualized 3.1% in the first half, after rising by an annualized 0.2% in second half of last year and 2.1% in the first half. Private consumption in the first half was driven by an annualized 10.2% per capita rise in purchases of consumer durables, and a 1.4% rise in current spending (on food, fuel, services, etc.)
Public consumption, excluding defense imports, rose by an annualized 4.3% in the first half, after rising by an annualized 2% in the second half, and 1.8% in the first half, of 2012. Net civilian consumption rose by an annualized 4.3% in the first half, and defense consumption rose by an annualized 9.6%
Investment in fixed assets (homes, construction, equipment, and vehicles) fell by an annualized 6.5% in the first half, after falling by an annualized 7.7% in the second half, and 4.1% in the first half, of 2012.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 18, 2013
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