Economic indicators pointing this way and that
Consumers spent 9.5% more on their credit cards in the second quarter, but companies are still expecting a further deterioration.
Macroeconomic indicators are pointing in all different directions lately. Consumers spent 9.5% more on their credit cards in the second quarter, after a 7.3% increase in the first quarter. Some firms that switched to a 4-day week, such as Iscar and Amdocs, are going back to full time.
But on the downside, companies are still expecting a further deterioration in the business environment, a Bank of Israel survey of businesses shows. However, firms see the pace of the recession slowing.
The Melnick State of the Economy Index, named after Prof. Rafi Melnick of the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, is still falling, down another 0.5% in June - but the central bank's recently released Combined State of the Economy showed a 0.2% rise.
On the other hand, exports are still way down, after dropping 34% in the first half of the year, but they seem to be holding stable at this level for now.
Finally, fewer people are losing their jobs, but the number of unfilled jobs also fell 25% in the second quarter.