Strong shekel blamed as export decline continues


Figures for April and May show exports still falling, while firms are shifting more production abroad.

Monthly analysis by the economic division of the Israel Manufacturers Association presents worrying figures showing a continued decline in Israel's industrial exports. In the April-May period, exports fell by 9% in annual terms, in comparison with the first quarter of 2014.

This follows an 8% annualized drop in industrial exports in March. In financial terms, at $3.8 billion, monthly exports in April and May were lower by $380 million in comparison with the average monthly figure in the first quarter.

Meanwhile, Israeli manufacturers see further expansion of their overseas activity, including higher output in their overseas factories, greater investment, and hiring more employees. This emerges from the index of multi-national industrial companies maintained by the Manufacturers Association economic research division. The index is based on reports and forecasts from 43 Israeli industrial companies with manufacturing activity overseas.

Manufacturers Association president Zvika Oren said of the continued decline in exports, "The Bank of Israel needs to wake up from the coma it is in and bring to bear every means at its disposal to prevent the shekel from strengthening further. The Israeli economy is based on exports, and every decline in industrial exports in favor of activity abroad means a decline in growth and jobs."

Most export sectors suffered decline in April-May; only three recorded growth. The decline was mainly in high-tech sectors, which accounted for 82% of the total decline in industrial exports. Total high-tech exports fell by an annualized 9%. The pharmaceuticals sector recorded a 30% decline, by itself accounting for 40% of the total decline in exports. Exports of electronic components fell 7%, and electronic equipment exports fell 6%. Exports of aircraft, however, rose by 3%.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on June 29, 2014

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

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