The average weighted risk level in the economy worsened by 3.5 percent in January after steady improvement in the last quarter of 2006, but research company Business Data Israel said the decline was not seen as indicative as negative future for the economy.
"The worsening in business risk in Israel in January should not be seen as a change in the growth trend," said Tehila Yanai, co-CEO of BDI. "Business risk will continue to improve in 2007 on condition that there aren't any dramatic political or diplomatic events."
The business risk index rose to 5.90 in January from 5.70 in December.
Sector by sector analysis of the business risk showed that the strongest sector was chemicals, with an average business risk of 4.97, followed by the paper and carton industry with an average business risk level of 5.04 an improvement from 5.41 in December.
The risk level of businesses in danger of closing rose to 13.9% in January from 13.3% in December. All of the five riskiest business sectors experienced a worsening in business risk in January compared with the preceding month.
Topping the list of the riskiest sectors with a business risk rating of over 7, were the haulage, cargo and transport services. Other risky sectors were general services, entertainment and recreation services, durable goods, wholesalers, and restaurants, cafes and pubs.
Year-on-year comparison showed that the agriculture industry saw the best improvement in business risk, while the rubber and plastics industry saw the biggest deterioration.