Business in Brief: December 30

GDP grows 4.5 percent this year; Elbit Systems wins Asian air force order; Elbit Imaging buys US shopping centers; public transportation fares to rise.

egged bus 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
egged bus 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
GDP grows 4.5 percent this year • By ADRIAN FILUT
Israel’s GDP rose 4.5 percent in 2010, in fixed prices, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported Wednesday. Israel’s GDP growth was almost double the expected OECD average of 2.7% for the year.
Israel’s GDP rose 0.8% in 2009 and 4.2% in 2008. The preliminary estimate of the 2010 growth figure is unexpectedly strong; economic organizations had predicted 4% growth. Israel’s average unemployment rate of 6.7% in 2010 is well below the OECD average of 8.3%.
The Central Bureau of Statistics cited three noteworthy developments in 2010: the rapid growth of exports, which began in the second half of 2009 and ended in the third quarter of 2010; the rapid growth in private consumption, which began at the same time and also slowed; and steady growth continued in investment in fixed assets, including housing starts.
Israel’s GDP per capita rose 2.7% in 2010, after falling 1.1% in 2009, during the severe global economic crisis and the sharp slowdown in Israel’s economic growth. Israel’s performance in this variable was also above the OECD average of 2.3%.
Business production rose 5.3% in 2010, after rising 0.1% in 2009. Investment in fixed assets, including in residential housing, stands out in particular, rising 10% in 2010, compared with the OECD average of 2.2%.
Elbit Systems wins Asian air force order • Globes correspondent
Defense electronics company Elbit Systems Ltd. said Wednesday an air force in Asia has awarded the company a contract worth about $18 million. The deal is for the supply of an EHUD Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation (ACMI) system.
The contract, to be performed over two years, is a follow-on order that calls for the supply of two additional complete systems (static and mobile) to be used for real-time, autonomous air-to-air and air-to-ground combat training and debriefing. The new systems will be able to be used together with an existing Elbit Systems training system that the customer is already operating.
Elbit said 18 air forces, on four continents, including numerous NATO countries, have chosen the EHUD ACMI training systems.
Elbit Imaging buys US shopping centers • Globes correspondent
Real-estate firm Elbit Imaging Ltd. said Wednesday its EPN Investment Management unit has signed a deal to buy to purchase seven shopping centers in Georgia, Oregon and Florida. The purchase price is $75 million, out of which $22.7m. would be paid by way of assumption of propertylevel debt, Elbit said. The properties have net operating income of about $7m., which reflects an annual yield of approximately 9.2 percent, Elbit said.
EPN will buy the centers from certain affiliates of Charter Hall Retail REIT. The centers have a total gross rentable area of about 60,000 square meters and a current occupancy rate of 91%.
EPN is a joint venture of Elbit Imaging, its subsidiary Plaza Centers NV and Eastgate Property LLC.
Public transportation fares to rise • By EREZ WOLLBERG
Public transportation fares will rise by an average of 3 percent starting January 1, the Transportation Ministry announced Wednesday. The fares are updated twice a year, in July and January, based on the Consumer Price Index.
Fares were not changed in July because inflation was low.
The basic bus fare (code 1) in greater Tel Aviv will rise 3.4% to NIS 6. The basic bus fare will rise 3.2% to NIS 6.40 in Haifa and Jerusalem, and 2.5% to NIS 4.10 in Beersheba.
Basic monthly bus passes will also rise, by 3.3%, to NIS 222 in greater Tel Aviv and to NIS 252 in Jerusalem and Haifa.
Although train fares are also updated according to the mechanism, the fare hike has been postponed, apparently to February, because of planned changes in the train-fares policy by the Transportation Ministry.