Data published on Tuesday by the Central Bureau of Statistics point to an annualized 8.4% slowdown in Israeli industrial production between August and October.
The figures are particularly concerning since industrial production had been a major source of economic growth in the past. The decline also follows an annualized 4.8% decline in the previous three-month period.
The main reason for the most recent decline was a slump in the high-tech sector and related industries. High-tech production dropped 9.7% between August and October after shrinking by 5.6% in the previous three months. (All figures are stated on an annualized basis).
There has also been a decline in overall industrial employment, with a drop of 0.4% in the number of salaried positions, including a similar drop in high-tech.
In addition, there has been a worrying 19% decline in the level of industrial exports in the most recent three-month period, primarily – and surprisingly – due to a 25.8% drop in high-tech exports. Exports from traditional industry also dropped, but by a smaller 10.4% margin.
In the period from August through October, output from the economy as a whole declined by an annualized 2.7% after expanding by 1.1% in the prior three months.
When it comes to annual figures on the export of business services, Tuesday’s data show that $26.3 billion in such services were exported in 2015, up from $25.7 billion the year before. The year 2015 also saw the import of $11.4 billion worth of business services.
When it comes to the export of research and development services, 72% last year, $3.5 billion worth, went to the United States.
In 2015, Israel exported $13.9 billion in high-tech services, totaling 53% of all business service exports for the year. The country also imported $3.8 billion worth of high-tech services, constituting 30% of all business service imports.
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