Services exports data for September and for January-September 2016

November 30, 2016

Bottom line: Israeli service exports continued to record a stellar performance in the third quarter of 2016, extending the strong growth that has characterized this year after two years of relative stagnation — and largely offsetting the weakness in exports of goods. The high-tech sectors are leading this trend, with revenues from the sale of start-ups tripling in January-September. Tourism revenues have stabilised, after suffering a series of blows in the second half of 2014 and in 2015.

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Trade data for October and for January-October 2016

November 30, 2016

Bottom line: NOT GOOD!! The October trade data were negative almost across the board and must trigger orange warning lights. The indications in the September data that the improvement of the previous several months was fading have now been confirmed in spades. It’s possible that the extent of the weakness in exports in October was exaggerated (see below), but we await the November data with trepidation…

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GDP DATA: INITIAL ESTIMATE FOR Q3, REVISIONS FOR Q2 and H1 2016 –, 16th November

November 16, 2016

Bottom line: Higher growth — and healthier, too!

The latest GDP data confirm that the Israeli economy is growing at a rate of some 3-3.5% per annum, higher than expected and much better than had seemed likely earlier this year. There are two key points to note: 1) estimates of growth in both the first and second quarters have been repeatedly revised upwards; 2) the composition of growth has become much healthier during 2016 — investment has replaced consumption as the main driver, while export performance has improved.

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A Tale of Two Bros and Two Boroughs

October 12, 2016
This article picks up on a fascinating Bloomberg feature about two orthodox Jewish kids from Brooklyn who became rich and debauched by ruthlessly ripping off everyone they could find – especially their own kith and kin. What makes mainstream yeshiva boys turn into cruel monsters – and why do big Wall Street firms want to do the same disgusting things, but on a much bigger scale?

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CURRENT ACCOUNT DATA FOR Q2 AND H1 2016

September 19, 2016

Bottom line: The current account surplus slipped for the fourth consecutive quarter — according to revised data using new methodology. However, at $2.66bn it is still comfortably large, with the surplus on trade in services still growing steadily. The deficit on trade in goods jumped by one-third from the first to the second quarter, but the latest trade data make clear that this deterioration is reversing in the third quarter.

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