The National Economy and Immigration

The wave of immigration in 1990-1993, like its predecessors, caused the Israeli economy to grow but placed it under pressure. The need for housing put the construction industry under strain. The increased demand for food and apparel attracted investments and created new jobs. The high proportion of professionally trained immigrants with higher education boosted Israel’s human capital. Between 1984 and 1993, Gross Domestic Product increased by 47%, business-sector product by 61%, per- capita product by 17% (from $9,900 to $11,600), and Net National Product by 76%

(from $8.1 billion to $14.3 billion). [The figures for the period preceding 1993 are taken from the Central Bureau of Statistics. Figures for 1993 are based on estimates of the Economic Planning Authority.]

Private Consumption

Between 1984 and 1993, private-consumption expenditure increased from $23.3 billion to $39.4 billion and per-capita private consumption from $5,600 to $7,500. The average annual growth rate of private consumption was 6%, exceeding the average annual GDP growth of 4.4%.

Consumption of durables increased at 13.5% per year, as against 6% growth in economic consumption. Expenditure on private vehicles and home appliances rose by 14% per year and expenditure at an average annual rate of 8.8%.

The factors of private consumption changed during these years. The share of private expenditure for food and clothing diminished from 35% in 1984 to only 25% in 1993. Concurrently, the share devoted to entertainment and leisure rose from 20% to 23%. The general level of nutrition improved, per-capita daily caloric consumption rising by 1.6%, from 3,020 in 1984 to 3,270 in 1993. Daily per-capita protein consumption also increased during these years, from 94 grams to 97.