The Bank of Israel's Composite State of the Economy Index for December 2015 increased by 0.2%. The Index continues to increase at the pace that has characterized it recently.
The increase in the Composite Index reflects an increase in most of its components, mainly a sharp increase in industrial production for November.
In contrast, the decline in goods exports in December moderated the pace of increase in the Index. The Index for November was revised slightly upward, since actual data were stronger than the estimate for industrial production and for services exports for that month. Summarizing 2015, the Composite Index (annual average) increased by 2.9%, following growth of 2.1% in the previous year.
The pace of growth of the Composite Index accelerated in 2015, in contrast with a slight moderation in the business product growth rate from 2.3% in 2014 to 2.1% in 2015. A main contributing factor to this is that the Composite Index includes two components that reflect the improvement in the labor market in 2015 (employee posts in the private sector and the job vacancy rate).
The yearly difference in the growth rate reflects the difference in the second quarter of the year, when business sector product declined by 1.1% while the Composite Index increased by 3% (both in annual terms). The acceleration in the growth rate of the Composite Index in 2015 reflected particularly the acceleration in the growth rate of the trade and services revenue indices and a sizeable increase in the job vacancy rate, while the declines in the goods and services exports indices partly offset the annual increase in the Index.