Slowdown Speeds Up

Is it a technically a recession yet?

The Israeli economy is rapidly slowing down, as each month during the past year has been worse than the one preceding it.

In the August to October period, industrial production fell by 3.5%, and if it were not for high tech, the drop would have been a big 6.9% (in annualized terms). In fact, the numbers may be showing not just an economic slowdown, but a recession.

Figures released by the Central Bureau of Statistics reveal that economic growth is now negative.

The effects of the slowdown are expected to appear soon in the country's unemployment figures, and in fact the number of salaried workers in industry fell by 1.1% in the August-October period.

The slowdown also hit the service and sales sectors.

The Bank of Israel's Composite State of the Economy Index fell 0.4% in November, after dropping 0.3% in October and September. This is the largest single monthly drop since 2003 when the second Intifada hit the economy hard.