Word of the global economic crisis doesn't seem to have reached Israeli households.
Tax Authority data shows consumer spending in durable goods continued to rise at a dizzying pace in the first trimester of 2008 (January-April) and April. April alone saw imports of 17,142 private vehicles, compared to just 5,010 in April of last year, and 1,261 commercial vehicles were brought in, compared to 370 during the same period in 2007. And in the first trimester of this year imports of private vehicles grew 84.4% compared to the same period the year before, and commercial vehicles were up 100.9%.
These astounding figures are partially attributed to a change in the method of registration of new vehicle import.
From April 1 2008, a newly imported vehicle is no longer registered based on its model, but the date it hits the road, making delaying import by a month or two redundant.
But imports of other durable goods also rose sharply. The citizens of Israel imported 84,991 refrigerators in the first trimester of 2008, up 37.5% compared to the same period last year.
Washing machine imports were up 30.6%, dishwashers were up 38.9% and television imports rose by 44.7% compared to last year.
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