At 0.1%, second quarter growth slower than feared

Israel's economic growth in the second quarter of 2015 was even lower than feared, the Central Bureau of Statistics confirmed Thursday when it revised its preliminary data downward to 0.1 percent GDP growth from 0.3%.
Many economists hoped that new data incorporated into the revision would show higher growth than the near-zero level reported in mid-August. The growth figures were dragged down by a sharp drop in exports, though Thursday's data spread the blame around somewhat further. The export figures were revised upward to an 11.9% drop from the original 12.5% drop, while private consumption grew at 0.6%, down from the earlier estimate of 0.9%.
In early September, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon moved to slash taxes, approving a one percentage point reduction in Value Added Tax to 17%, and a significant reduction in taxes on alcohol ahead of the Rosh Hashana holiday.
Labor MK Shelly Yacimovich said the economy's poor performance was the result of Netanyahu's policies, and that his coalition partners were not doing anything to help.
"Worst of all is that even in the new budget, there is not one shred of a response to the economic slowdown and the cost of living," she said.