The trade and services industry is looking forward to the Purim and Pessah holiday season, which promises to give its traditional economic boost for the year. The Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce said this week that trade and services businesses are expecting a combined turnover of NIS 1.8 billion on Purim, marking a 20 percent rise from the average day's trade during the year. "Purim is not counted among the festivals that by law workers get to take off without affecting their salary," the FICC said. "Together with that, it is one of the festivals on which workers can choose to be absent according to their workers agreement." As such the FICC said that most trade and services businesses expect to work as a regular day on Purim with some, in particular shops, marketing businesses, malls and restaurants, planning to expand their operations. Similarly, local business is expected to strengthen in the run up to Pessah when demand for Israeli products traditionally rises. The Manufacturers Association of Israel said it expects approximately 5,500 unemployed people to find work around the period as a result of Israeli businesses buying local products for their gifts to workers. The Association estimated that some NIS 1.8b. will be spent this year on Israeli-made gifts this Pessah and called on businesses, government offices, public companies and local authorities to "think blue and white" when preparing their gifts.