Tax Authority data released last Monday show that in 2007 imports, excluding diamonds, were up16.9% to $48.5 billion.
According to the Authority in 2007 there was a huge increase in imports of consumer products after very moderate increases over the two previous years. The main import item was private vehicles, where imports rose 29.5%, compared with 2% in 2006, reflecting imports of 185,171 vehicles. The cost of car imports amounted to $2.3 billion - 41% more than in 2006 - and generated tax revenues of NIS 7.4 billion.
The Tax Authority also noted that state revenues from the import of fuel surged 300% to NIS 1 billion after the sharp rise in fuel prices. Imports of refrigerators were up 8%, washing machines 16.3%, driers 23.8% and dishwashers 26.2%.
Imports of entertainment electronics were up 9.5% - 513,000 televisions were imported at the cost of $226 million.