The Israeli economy grew by 3% on an annualized basis in the first quarter of 2012, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported today. The growth rate was above the 2.5% growth predicted in a "Bloomberg" poll of analysts, GDP growth in the first quarter was nevertheless less than in the two preceding quarters: 3.2% in the fourth quarter of 2011 and 3.3% in the third quarter.Sorry, haters, but it does not appear that BDS is making a dent in Israel's economy.
The Central Bureau of Statistics said that GDP growth in the first quarter was due to higher exports and imports of goods and services, and higher private consumption, investment in fixed assets, and modest growth in public spending.
The GDP growth report includes some worrying data, however. Business product growth fell to 2.8% in the first quarter from 3.5% in the preceding quarter and 4.5% in the third quarter of 2011. The figure highlights the slowdown in the business sector, the economy's growth engine.
The good news is that, despite the worsening crisis in Europe, exports of goods and services rose by an annualized 14.2% in the first quarter, after falling by 0.2% in the preceding quarter. Exports of services rose by an annualized 45% in the first quarter (9.7% on a quarterly basis), and industrial exports, excluding diamonds, rose by 4.8%. Agricultural exports rose by an annualized 18.9% in the first quarter.
In fact, on a daily basis, individual Israeli companies seem to be making deals that are worth more than the entire loss to Israel's economy from BDS in a decade of loud posturing and next to zero accomplishments.