The Central Bureau of Statistics ( CBS) reported last week that due to a 32% rise in fuel imports and a 4% drop in exports in January 2006, Israel’s trade deficit rose 7% to $878 million from $820 million in December 2005.
In a statement issued last week the CBS noted that imports rose by 4.8% to $3.91 billion. Exports fell by 4% to $2.91 billion.
The CBS also noted that imports of fuel in January 2006 was up 32% to $592 million, compared with $448 million in January 2005.
Agricultural produce exports in January totaled $123 million, 7 .2% more than in January 2005. Vegetable exports increased by 19.3% and exports of avocados and other fruits was up by 18 .7%.
On the other hand rough and polished diamond exports in January fell 11% to $886 million, compared with the parallel period in2005.
Rough and polished diamond imports in January fell 8.3% to $605 million.
In a separate statement issued last week by the CBS, it was noted that the rate of economic growth, during the second half and the fourth quarter of 2005, slowed down.
The slowdown was attributed to the moderate 1.7% increase in exports and a 0.2% decrease in total public spending, during the second half of 2005.
The CBS noted that the GDP during the second half of 2005 increased by an annualized rate of 4.9% compared to a 5.5% increase in the second half of 2004.
Israel's gross domestic product increased by 4.9% in the second half of 2005, following 5.3% growth in the first half and 5.5% growth in the parallel period.
Private consumption increased by 4.5% in the second half of 2005, and investment in fixed assets grew by 2.9%. Exports of goods and services, excluding startups and diamonds, increased by 3.2% in the second half of 2005.