Export of goods in 2008 increased by 10.6% compared with 2007 to US$50.8 billion while import of goods in 2008 increased by 15%
Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) released last week figures showing that although Israeli exports and imports both had a record year, the overall trade deficit was up by US$3.5 billion.
The CBS noted that export of goods in 2008 increased by 10.6% compared with 2007 to US$50.8 billion while import of goods in 2008 increased by 15.0%, compared with 2007, to US$64.5 billion.
The overall trade deficit in 2008 totaled US$13.7 billion compared with US$10.2 billion in 2007.
The CBS noted that in 2008 manufacturing exports (excluding diamonds) totaled US$39.9 billion, a rise of 17.2%.
Agricultural exports dropped by 5.4%, and totaled US$1.3 billion.
Diamond exports (polished and rough) totaled US$9.6 billion, down from US$10.5 billion in 2007.
In 2008, exports as percentage of imports constituted 74.1%, a drop of 3.9% compared with the previous year.
The CBS also notes that despite the new record-high exports, trend data of manufacturing export pointed to a drop of 20.3% at an annual rate, during the last three months of 2008.