Further export decline raises concern over economy

From April to June, exports fell 12.5%, and the economy grew at just .3%.

money (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
In more bad news for the economy Monday, exports from May to July (not including diamonds, ships and aircraft) fell an annualized 17.2% relative to the second quarter, a period that itself saw plunging exports pull GDP growth to a crawl.
From April to June, exports fell 12.5%, and the economy grew at just .3%.
The new statistics, which the Central Bureau of Statistics published Monday, also showed a .8% increase in consumer prices.
Results of a new survey from the Manufacturer’s Association of Israel reinforced Monday’s CBS data, showing pessimism among Israel’s manufacturers and exporters.
The survey of 170 manufacturing firms found expectations of another decline in the third quarter, as profitability weakens and Israel’s currency position becomes more difficult.
Companies surveyed fretted about the difficulties of breaking into new markets, competing with international prices, high local production costs, and the exchange rate.
Manufacturers have repeatedly pointed to the strong shekel, which appreciated 3.5% against a basket of currencies from Israel’s trade partners in the second quarter. The shekel in recent weeks, however, has weakened against the dollar.