State of economy index edges higher

However, Bank of Israel says it's too early to reach any conclusions "from such a modest monthly rise" in change in rate of expansion of economic activity.

The composite state-of-the-economy index went up by a moderate 0.1 percent in November on the back of declines in the services exports and the imports of goods over the past two months. But the Bank of Israel, which released the index, said it was "too early though to reach any conclusions from such a modest monthly rise in the change in rate of expansion of economic activity." The central bank added that the modest rise in the November index, compared with the 0.6% rise in the previous month, was the result of a drop in most components of the index during October and November. Imports of goods fell 1.7% compared with 1% in October, while the trade and services revenue index fell by 1.2% in October, after rising 1.6% in September. The services exports index declined by 7.3% in November, following its rise of 4% in October. At the same time, manufacturing production dropped by 0.9% in October, after rising 3.1% in September. On the other hand, there was a rise in the exports of goods, which expanded by 3.9%, after a drop of 3.6% in October. Meanwhile, the "Melnick Index," a monthly measure of the state of the economy published by the Interdisciplinary Center Herzilya, rose by 0.5% in November, giving more support to the cautious conclusion by the Bank of Israel regarding a change in the growth rate of economic expansion. "The growth momentum of the economy is continuing despite the downward corrections indicated in the October and November economic data," Prof. Rafi Melnick, Dean of the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy at the IDC told The Jerusalem Post. "The correction is not an indicator for a change of direction of the economy, because of the sharp index increases in the previous months." In other economic news released Thursday, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported that commerce and services revenue rose by 8.9% in the first 10 months of the year. From August to October, it said commerce and services revenue grew by 6.6% after an increase of 5.8% in the May to July period. Food and hospitality services revenue dropped 3.1% in the months of August to September recovering from a decline of 9% from May to July. Manufacturing production in the first 10 months of the year expanded by 8.4% compared with the same period last year. During the same time period, the bureau said full-time job positions increased by 3%, while the number of hours worked rose 2.5%. In the months of August to October manufacturing production was up only 7.5% compared with 12% in the May to July period.