Israel revises up annual GDP growth in first quarter

Published: June 18, 2018 14:18:51 | Updated: June 22, 2018 10:52:45

Labourers work at a construction site in the new neighbourhood of Carmei Gat in the southern Israeli city of Kiryat Gat November 1, 2016. Reuters/Files

Israel’s economy grew an annualised 4.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2018, faster than previously thought, boosted by gains in consumer spending, investment and export, the Central Bureau of Statistics said in a second estimate.

In a preliminary estimate last month, the bureau said gross domestic product grew an annualised 4.2 per cent, faster than the average forecast of 3.9 per cent in a Reuters poll.

The bureau on Sunday also raised its fourth-quarter GDP estimate to 4.5 per cent from 4.4 per cent.

Growth in the January-March period was led by a 9.7 per cent gain in private spending, similar to its preliminary estimate.

Exports rose 4.5 per cent, investment in fixed assets increased 14.2 per cent led by industries, and government spending rose 11.5 per cent.

The Bank of Israel forecasts economic growth of 3.4 per cent in 2018. Last week the Finance Ministry raised its growth estimate by 0.3 percentage points to 3.5 per cent, Reuters reported.

On Friday, the bureau said Israel’s annual inflation rate edged up to 0.5 per cent in May but stayed below its target of 1.0 to 3.0 per cent. The central bank has said low inflation is not a result of weak demand.

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