IMA: Hi-tech output slows in October/November

Employment dropped in mixed-low tech by 1% in the two-month period, mixed hi-tech remained unchanged, while hi-tech numbers rose 0.8%.

By AVI KRAWITZ
February 1, 2006 07:11
1 minute read.

Hi-tech output fell 3.5 percent in October-November after four years of growth in the sector and a 3.9% increase in the third quarter, the Israel Manufacturers Association reported. IMA said that industry as a whole showed stagnation in the absorption of workers and output during the period, marking the first time in two years that there was no growth. IMA President Shraga Brosch said, however, it was too soon to draw conclusions about the slow-down, especially since the Jewish holidays all fell in October last year. The festivals, which typically slow economic activity, are more commonly spread between September and October. The figures, prepared by the economics division of the IMA, were a small indication that the recent growth experienced in hi-tech may slow in the coming year. Richard Gussow, an analyst at Excellence Nessuah, said that on the backdrop of a great year for local industry, this year would show a stronger focus on domestic businesses rather than on exporters. "The US GDP figures, which show a decline in hi-tech output, could have an impact on a local market that is geared towards the US," he said. Gussow added, however, there was no concern of a major slow down in the sector. Output among mixed-low tech companies - including mining, non-metallic minerals, rubber, rubber and plastics, and metallic products - dropped 2% in the two months after having grown 0.5% in the preceding June to September period. Mixed hi-tech (chemical, oil refineries, machinery and equipment and electrical companies), meanwhile, showed an increase of 1.3% in October-November, having remained stable in the third quarter. The low-tech industry - made up of food, textile, leather and shoes, paper products, print and furniture companies - increased output slightly by 0.5% in line with the 0.7% growth it saw for the remainder of the year. Employment dropped in mixed-low tech by 1% in the two-month period, mixed hi-tech remained unchanged, while hi-tech numbers rose 0.8%. Productivity rose 0.8% despite a drop in the total number of work hours reported overall in hi-tech, the IMA said.


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