Israel's economy grew at 3.4% in Q4 2011

Israel's GDP rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.4 percent in constant prices in the fourth quarter of 2011, the same growth rate as in the preceding quarter, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported Monday.
Despite fears that the slowing of Israel's GDP growth would intensify, the figures show that the growth rate was stable. GDP rose at an annual rate of 3.5% in the second half of 2011, down from over 5% in the first half.
However, private consumption, a key growth driver, was barely changed, rising just 0.4%, and exports of goods and services fell by 2%, due to the economic crisis in Europe, a key export market, and the slowdown in the US.
Consumption trends are especially worrying. Spending on durable goods per capita, which reflects the standard of living, fell by an annualized 15.2% in the second half of 2011.
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