The Purim holiday promises a sweet break from the impact of the economic crisis for businesses in the trade and hospitality services sector, with merchants expecting a 40 percent increase in sales of sweets and a 5-7% rise in the sales of hamantaschen. On Tuesday, the main Purim holiday, business activity in a wide variety of sectors, including trade, services, hospitality, food, entertainment and security, will be 13% higher than the average business day in March, according to the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce. Revenues generated on Tuesday are estimated to increase by NIS 200 million to a total of NIS 1.72 billion. At the same time, though, economists at the FICC noted that since Purim this year was falling amid a period of a recession, consumption will still be 7% lower than in a regular year. According to estimates by the food division of the FICC, sales of sweets during the week of Purim will amount to NIS 50m., an increase of 35% to 40% compared with a regular week during the year. Meanwhile, the Israel Manufacturers' Association said Monday that the recession is not having an impact on the sales and consumption of Hamantaschen. "During the Purim holiday period 23 million Hamantaschen will be eaten, representing an increase of 5% to 7% compared with last year." Out of the total, 10 million Hamantaschen filled with chocolate will be eaten "mainly by children," said the association. "This year, sales of Hamantaschen, which started about two months before Purim, will generate NIS 31.5m.