Industrial exports, excluding diamonds, rose 11 percent to $29.3 billion in 2006 with the hi-tech sector leading the surge for the year, the Manufacturers Association of Israel said Sunday.
Israel's hi-tech industry exported $14.1b. in goods last year, growing 20% from 2005, while mixed-elite technologies, such as chemical products, oil distilleries and machinery, grew 1% to $7.76b. Mixed-traditional industrial exports rose 6% to $5.26b. for the year and traditional exports, including food products, textiles and furniture, dropped 1% to $2.1b., the IMA said.
The rate of increase slowed in the second-half of the year as hi-tech grew just 2% in the final quarter after declining 3% in the previous three months with traditional industry showing similar trends. While the mixed-elite sector's exports declined in both final quarters, mixed-traditional technology, such as plastics, minerals and metals industry, was the only sector to grow in both the third and fourth quarters.
Nira Shamir, head of the group's economics division, said the fourth quarter saw a 5% rise in the cost of labor index for manufacturers of exports products, which influenced a drop in their profits and noted that the exports also were affected by the weakening dollar against the shekel.