Services exports data for January 2017

29th March 2017

 

Bottom line:  Another strong set of data regarding export services, which is the driven of Israeli exports and hence of long-term economic growth. The main feature is continued growth in all areas — revenues from sales of start-up companies stood out, but the regular, ongoing business revenues are more important, and here the theme was solidly positive, not stellar.  

Specifics:

  • Total service exports for December amounted to $3.48bn, when measured in ‘original data’ terms — i.e. the actual amount of exports. That’s 21% higher than January 2016 and thus sets a new record for January and gets 2017 off to a strong start.
  • But wait — there’s more! In seasonally-adjusted terms, service exports totaled $3.84bn in January, which is the largest amount in any single month — ever. It is higher (by almost 9%) than the $3.53bn of November 2016, the most recent record-breaking total.
  • Even if we exclude start-up companies — the CBS recently started providing separate data sets, with and without start-ups, because these are volatile and hence distorting — the January 2017 total of $3.32bn is still a new single-month record, surpassing the $3.29bn total of November 2016.
  • Note too that January is typically a weak month.
  • Revenue from start-ups was exceptionally high, at $524mn — but not a record, because the $1bn total of June 2013 will take some beating.
  • Exports of high-tech services, the dominant component of service exports, rose moderately (about 7%) compared to January 2016.
  • Exports of tourist services jumped over 20% from last January — auguring well for the sector this year, despite the strength of the shekel.

N.B. The CBS report of service exports compares the January data to December in seasonally-adjusted terms. IMHO, a more valid and useful comparison is with the same month last year, as presented above.

 

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