Feburary 15, 2018 The very-long-awaited recommendations by the Israel Police regarding two (out of four, at least) investigations of Prime Minister Netanyahu, were announced last night: that the premier be indicted on charges of bribery in both cases. Whatever the strength of the legal cases (the experts differ), the political impact of this development is very limited. Even if the […]» Read more
January 29, 2018.
Trump’s presidency is not a fleeting phenomenon, but rather ‘an icebreaker’, smashing the established structure of American politics and portending systemic change. Israel has been there and done that, with interesting results.
Bottom line: November was an(other) excellent month for service exports, which are continuing to achieve rapid rates of expansion across the board, not just in the high-tech sectors. While it is the latter that provide the main thrust, both in the narrow context of service exports and for the overall economy, the strength of the tourist sector — despite the continued rise in the shekels’s value! — is also very significant for the labour market and hence from a socio-political perspective.» Read more
January 11, 2018
Bottom line: The deficit on trade in goods for 2017 widened significantly compared to 2016 — which had jumped sharply — after having narrowed in the first half of the year. Once again, the primary driver was higher fuel prices, which alone accounted for 60% of the total year-on-year increase. Vehicle imports, on the other hand, dropped. Overall import growth was low, but still exceeded export growth. Exports were held back by weakness in electronics, although some other sectors scored strong gains.
January 1, 2018
Bottom line: Chugging along nicely. No big surprises, good or bad, in the early estimate for full-year data that the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) traditionally publishes on December 31. The growth was entirely domestically-generated, while import growth exceeded export growth, shrinking the surplus on current account.
December 20, 2017
After years of blessed boredom, during which Israel was able to watch regional developments from the sidelines with very limited direct involvement, the second half of 2017 has seen a dramatic change. Granted, during this period the pace of events across the entire region has accelerated, but from Israel’s vantage point, the change that has taken place is qualitative, not merely more of the same.