The Bank of Israel reported that Israeli economy continued growing at a moderate rate (2.7%) during the past two quarters (October 2012–March 2013), against the background of the prolonged slowdown in global economic growth, and particularly the economic crisis in the European Union.
Business sector activity was moderate at the end of 2012 and strengthened a bit in the beginning of 2013. Industrial production, as well as domestic sales in the trade and services industries declined toward the end of 2012, but began to recover at the beginning of 2013.
The Current Account of the Balance of Payments returned to a surplus at the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013.
Goods and services exports (excluding diamonds and startup companies) increased in the first quarter of 2013, after a sharp decline in the second half of 2012, while at the same time, the decline in goods and services imports which had occurred in 2012 halted.
The moderation of exports and domestic demand during 2012 was reflected in the labor market by a slowdown in the growth of the number of employed people beginning in the middle of 2012. The opening topic of the review of recent economic developments examines this slowdown from a sector-specific perspective-while the increase in number of employee posts (pay slips) continued in public services (public administration, education, health, etc.), the increase in employee posts in business sector industries (all industries, excluding public services) stopped beginning in April 2012.
The virtual standstill in business sector industries followed the halt in the increase in the number of employee posts in companies at the end of 2011. The continued growth in employee posts in business sector industries in the beginning of 2012 was attributed to small companies (the households sector in Central Bureau of Statistics publications).
In the beginning of 2013 a trend of decline in employment in business sector industries, led by a decrease in employment by companies, is observed.