Photo Credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90
Closed shops in Dizengoff Center, Tel Aviv, during a nationwide lockdown, January 07, 2021.

According to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) estimate for the Third Quarter of 2020, there was an increase of the Gross Domestic Product of 39.7% on an annualized basis. The sharp rise in GDP followed the significant contraction in the economy in the Second Quarter of 2020. The sharp declines in GDP in the first two quarters of 2020 were affected by the coronavirus crisis and the government steps to curb the spread of the virus, which involved shutting down the economy.

But, as the CBS showed in its Sunday’s report, the Third Quarter of 2020 made it all better. Here’s the stirring comparison between the second and third quarters of 2020 (seasonally adjusted change in an annualized calculation):

  • An increase of 39.7% in GDP
  • A 46.2% increase in business GDP at base prices (excluding taxes on products and subsidies)
  • An increase of 42.3% in private consumption expenditure
  • An increase of 17.2% in investments in fixed assets
  • An increase of 8.4% in public consumption expenditure
  • A 43.7% increase in exports of goods and services excluding diamonds and start-ups
  • A 1.8% decrease in imports of goods and services
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However, things become a little more sober when the CBS compares the Third Quarter of 2020 to the Third Quarter of 2019(seasonally adjusted change in an annualized calculation):

  • A 1.1% decrease in GDP
  • A 1.6% decrease in business GDP at base prices
  • A decrease of 9.6% in private consumption
  • A decrease of 8.4% in investment in fixed assets
  • A 1.7% increase in public consumption expenditure
  • A 4.9% increase in exports of goods and services excluding diamonds and start-ups
  • A decrease of 15.3% in imports of goods and services

So that a summary of the first three quarters of 2020 compared to the summary of the first three quarters of 2019 (seasonally adjusted change) shows a decrease of 2.9% in GDP. Given that Israel’s GDP in 2019 was $394.7 billion, it means a loss of $11.45 billion.

Nevertheless, it could have been worse, much worse, really. Globes noted that only Ireland and Norway fared better than Israel among the OECD countries last year, growing 8.1% and shrinking 0.1% respectively. Israel and South Korea shrank by 1.1%, Sweden by 2.7%, the US by 2.8% and the UK by 8.6%.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.