29 December 1994


Israel’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose by 6.8 percent in 1994, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported yesterday (28.12.94). Israel’s economic growth rate as reflected in the GDP’s increase in comparison to the membership of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development shows Israel’s economy growing faster than all of the OECD countries. The OECD country with a GDP growth rate closest to Israel’s was Norway, with a 4.3 percent growth rate. In 1993, Israel’s GDP grew by 3.4 percent while in 1992 the rate was 6.7 percent, and in 1991 6.2 percent.

Israel’s per capita GDP in 1994 was $13,730 per person, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics. The growth in Israel’s GDP per capita, at 4.3 percent, also rose faster than all of the OECD countries, according to the CBS.

Israel’s balance of payments deficit increased to 4.1 percent of the GDP, up from 2.4 percent in 1993. The 1994 trade deficit rose to $8.32 billion, up from $6.01 billion in 1993. For 1994, exports rose by 10.6 percent whereas imports rose by 10.4 percent, though excluding defense items, diamonds, ships and airplanes imports rose by 12.3 percent. During the first half of the year exports were up by 14 percent, while during year’s second half the pace of exports were up by 5 percent.

In the business sector, Israel’s gross business product rose by 7.9 percent in 1994 compared to a growth rate of 3.5 percent in 1993. In the industrial sector, excluding diamonds, 1994’s growth rate was 8 percent compared to 6.8 percent in 1993 and 8.3 percent in 1992.

Israel’s 12.3 percent consumer inflation rate (or private consumption rate), when compared to the OECD countries, was second highest. Turkey was the OECD country with the highest consumer inflation rate, 106 percent.

Israel’s unemployment rate of 7.6 percent, down from 10 percent in 1993 and 11.2 percent in 1992, ranked Israel before the higher rates of Italy, England, Belgium, Germany, and Spain, but below lower rates in Japan, Switzerland, and the USA.

According to the Central Bureau of Statistics’ economists, Israel’s economy in 1994 was identified by increases in economic growth rate, private consumption, and investments, a large increase in its balance of payments deficit, a decrease in unemployment, and growing inflation.