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Companies in all sectors of the economy expect the firstquarter's expansion of economic activity to continue into the second quarter of 2006, the Bank of Israel said Monday.
Growth in the first quarter "was recorded in all sectors of the economy, including construction, and was fed by rises both in exports and activity [oriented toward] the domestic market," the central bank's research department said.
Industrial businesses of all types, but particularly big companies, anticipated that their second-quarter output, on both foreign and domestic orders, will see the same "large rises" witnessed in the first quarter.
Construction companies, too, are expecting increased activity in the second quarter, particularly large- and medium-sized builders, following a "slight rise" in activity among large- and medium-sized companies and stability among small companies - as infrastructure construction rose modestly and structure construction continued to stagnate.
Transportation and communications companies saw a return of growth in both domestic and foreign sales, following stability in the fourth quarter of 2005.
Hoteliers foresaw ongoing growth in the second quarter, continuing the trend of preceding periods. Hotel stays continued to rise slowly among Israelis and significantly among nonresident tourists in the first quarter, they told the central bank.
The 600 companies surveyed in all sectors expected inflation to rise, on average, 2.8% by the end of March 2007. At that time, the average company expects the US dollar will be worth NIS 4.83.