Israel's 2019 growth revised upwards

Growth Photo: Shutterstock

Israel's economy grew at 4.6% in the fourth quarter, higher than expected, because imports of hybrid cars were brought forward ahead of a 2020 tax hike.

Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics has revised its previous 3.3% estimate for growth in 2019 to 3.5%, after including figures for the fourth quarter of the year. Last year's growth thus exceeded the economy's 3.4% growth in 2018. The revised growth figures were strongly affected by the bringing forward of imports of hybrid vehicles, after taxes were raised on these vehicles, starting in 2020. The bringing forward of imports will be at the expense of 2020 growth.

Growth in the fourth quarter totaled 4.6% according to the Central Bureau of Statistics' first estimate, published today. Excluding vehicles, growth in the quarter was 3.3%. Per capita GDP in the fourth quarter grew by an annualized 2.7%, compared with 2.4% in the third quarter.

The estimate shows impressive growth in almost all economic statistics. Spending on private consumption jumped 10% under the influence of spending on hybrid private vehicle imports, which soared 486.14%, in comparison with the preceding quarter. Excluding vehicles, spending on private consumption grew 5.9%.

Exports of goods and services were up 5%, while imports rose 6.8%. Investments in fixed assets rose by a stunning 8.7%, after stumbling somewhat in the first three quarters of the year. This figure was also affected by vehicle purchases, with investment in land vehicles skyrocketing 1294.4%, in comparison with the preceding quarter.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on February 16, 2020

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2020

Growth Photo: Shutterstock
Growth Photo: Shutterstock
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