Key economic index rises again

Key economic index rises

The country's leading index of economic indicators rose by a preliminary 0.6 percent in November, led by growth in industrial production, the Bank of Israel reported on Sunday. "The increase in the index points to the continuation of a trend of recent months and indicates that the positive turnaround in economic activity is continuing," said the central bank report. "The Novemaber rise was due mainly to growth in manufacturing output, trade and services and imports of goods." The rise in the November state-of-the-economy index compares with a revised increase of 0.6% in October instead of the preliminary 0.5%, and a revised increase of 0.6% in September, instead of a preliminary 0.5%. The industrial-production index increased by 2.3% in October after a decline of 0.2% in September. The trade and services index rose by 0.9% in October after falling by 0.8% in the previous month. The November exports-of-services index dropped 3.8% after jumping 15% in October. The exports-of-goods index was down by 6.6% in November, following a 6.2% rise a month earlier. The imports- of-goods index rose by 6.3% in November after increasing 0.1% in October. Data published by the Central Bureau of Statistics on Sunday added to the continued signs of a recovery in the economy showing that industrial production increased by a preliminary 7.6% in annual terms in the months August to October compared to a growth rate of 1.7% in the previous three months. "Trend figures show that the declines in industrial production which commenced in July last year came to a halt and since June this year production grew month over month," said CBS economists. "The sharp declines in the number of full-time positions in the manufacturing sector seen since June 2008 have slowed down from May this year. October marks the first month of signs of a positive change in trend." The number of full-time positions in the industrial sector fell by a preliminary 0.4% in annual terms in the three months to October compared with a decline of 3.9% in the May to July period. Not including the hi-tech sector, the number of full-time positions in the industry rose by 0.4% in the same period. Sector-by-sector analysis of trend data showed that production in the mixed-traditional sectors - rubber, plastics, metal goods and jewelry - grew at the fastest pace of 13.6% in annual terms in the August-October period following a 7.2% rise in the previous three months. Production in the hi-tech sector was up 11.6% in the August-October months after growing by 1.6% in the May-July period. Against this in the traditional industry sector - food, textiles, clothing and wood - production was down 1.6% in August-October, following a similar decline three months earlier. In seasonally adjusted terms manufacturing production fell by 6.6% in the months January to October this year compared with the same period last year. Not including production in the hi-tech sector manufacturing dropped by 11.5%. A separate report published by the CBS on Sunday showed that revenues of the trade and services sectors rose by 5.9% in trend figures in the months August to October in annual terms according to value-added tax data after increasing by 7% in the previous three months May to July. In seasonally adjusted terms, revenues dropped 4.7% in the January to October months, compared with the same period last year. Wholesale and retail revenues grew a preliminary 4.2% in annual terms in the three months to October slowing down moderately from the 6.9% in the May to July period. Revenues of the financial institutions and insurance sector increased by a mere 4.1% in annual terms in August-October after jumping 18.6% in May-July.