Analysis of electricity consumption in Israel


·        In this release, changes in electricity consumption are presented, based on economy-wide electricity production data at         an hourly frequency, and with a lag of only 1-3 days, as an indicator of the state of activity in the economy during the time         of the coronavirus and the subsequent recovery.

 

·    In March, a decline in electricity consumption began, which later gathered strength and reached a low point in consumption during the morning hours in April. In that month, electricity consumption in the morning was 13 percent lower than the average over the preceding 2 years. The decline in electricity consumption was focused on work days (and not holidays or Saturdays), and is more notable in the morning and evening.

 

·       An examination of the past 2 weeks, ending May 16, 2020, indicates a slight recovery in electricity consumption, but it remains about 10 percent lower relative to the past 2 years.

 

·        A long-term outlook on the annual change in electricity consumption (during workdays, net of the effect of weather) also indicates a correlation with the previous business cycle around the 2008–09 crisis.

 

As part of dealing with the coronavirus crisis, the Bank of Israel is compiling, on an ongoing basis, a picture of the state of Israel’s economy, on both the real and financial sides. To that end, a designated data infrastructure was established at the Bank of Israel, which monitors indicators from various areas. Beginning today, the Bank will update and publish the data from the various indicators at a weekly frequency on a designated page on the website. Today, among other things, credit card activity data and mobility data were updated. The dynamic picture of the situation is presented in an ongoing manner within the framework of the situation room set up by the Governor of the Bank of Israel with the outbreak of the crisis, and it includes, among other things, indicators from the labor market, credit market, capital market, and the foreign exchange market.

 

The current analysis brought in this release presents the picture of the situation on economy-wide electricity usage, based on hourly electricity production data and with a lag of only 1-3 days, as an indicator of the state of economic activity during the crisis and in the process of recovery with the gradual return to routine and to enhanced economic activity.

 

Although in recent days the record in electricity consumption was broken due to the intense heat wave, a more comprehensive investigation of electricity consumption in the economy indicates that during the coronavirus period, consumption declined markedly due to a contraction of economic activity. Updated indicators with data on recent days will be updated and published, next week, as noted.

 

The main finding for examining the change in ongoing activity in recent months is presented in Figure 1, which shows that in March a decline began in economy-wide electricity consumption (workdays, after adjusting for changes in the weather), which gathered strength and reached a peak in the morning hours in April. In that month, electricity consumption in the morning was approximately 13 percent lower than the average over the preceding 2 years. The decline in electricity consumption is focused on workdays (and not holidays or Saturdays), and is more notable in the morning and evening.

 

An examination of the past 2 weeks, ending May 16, 2020, indicates a slight recovery in electricity consumption, but it remains about 10 percent lower relative to the past 2 years.​​​