Israel's GDP shrank by an annualized 1.6% in the fourth quarter of 2008 and by 3.3% in the first quarter of 2009
Official data published last week showed that Israel's economy grew by an annualised rate of 1% in the second quarter of 2009 indicating that Israel has moved out of a recession.
The Central Bureau of Statistics figures indicate that the recession is over, at least on the basis of the definition of recession as two consecutive quarters of GDP contraction. Israel's GDP shrank by an annualized 1.6% in the fourth quarter of 2008 and by 3.3% in the first quarter of 2009.
The Central Bureau of Statistics also revised first-quarter gross domestic product to a contraction of 3.2% from 3.7%.
GDP growth in the second quarter was driven by all uses: export of goods and services rose by 26.4%, public consumption (excluding defense imports) rose by 21%, private consumption rose by 5.6%, and investment in fixed assets rose by 2%.
Economic growth in the second quarter was boosted by a more than 20 percent jump in government spending. But even without it, the economy grew an annualised 0.7% in the quarter.
Consumer spending also rebounded sharply to a 4.4% growth rate after a 3.9% fall in the first quarter.
Similarly, exports -- which comprise close to half of Israel's economic activity -- rose nearly 6% after a 27% plunge in the first three months of 2009.
Israel's GDP is expected to growth by 0.1% in 2009, compared with the average of a 4% contraction by OECD countries, forecasts included in the 2009 Statistical Abstract.