The Composite State of the Economy Index for July 2020 increased by 0.15 percent, a sign of economic stability following the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic

The Bank of Israel's Composite State of the Economy Index for July increased by 0.15 percent, following the very sharp declines in the Index during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic between March and May. Following the cancellation of most closures and restrictions at the end of April and over the course of May, economic activity stabilized in June, followed by a slight increase in July. In view of the uniqueness of the crisis, the intensity of the changes in the Index should not be indicative of the precise intensity of the changes in activity.  This is particularly true regarding the relative intensity between the various months.  This is because final data for some of the indicators are published with a lag, and affect the publication of the Index trend.  There were prominent changes in trend in the Retail Trade Revenue index and in the Industrial Production index, the sharp increases of which in May and June led to their level in June being higher than it was in February, before the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Israel.  A revision of the Composite index figures for previous months shows that most of the negative impact to economic activity took place in April, and that the impact moderated in May.  Following the revision, the Composite Index for March to May declined by a total of 4.6 percent, of which 2.54 percent was in April (Table 1).

 

The increase in the Composite Index in July reflects increases in most components reported for June–July.  The only components that declined during that period were goods exports, which declined in both months, and the job vacancy rate, which increased in June and declined in July, but remained above its March–May level. 

 

Table 2 presents the development of components of the Index in the past few months.

 

Detailed explanations regarding how the Composite Index is calculated, as well as detailed long-term tables, can be found at

https://www.boi.org.il/en/Research/Pages/ind.aspx

 


 

 

Table 1: Revisions in the Composite Index

Revision

Previous data

New data

July 2020

 

0.15

June 2020

0.01

-0.04

May 2020

-1.65

-0.92

April 2020

-1.60

-2.54

 

 

 

 

 

Table 2: Changes in the Index components in recent months

(monthly percent change, unless otherwise noted)

 

July

2020

June

2020

May

2020

April

2020

Industrial Production Index

(excluding mining and quarrying)1

 

16.1

7.4

-10.0

Services Revenue Index

(excluding education and public administration) 1

 

6.6

5.5

-7.9

Retail Trade Revenue Index

 

5.0

25.6

-17.0

Imports of consumer goods1

5.1

8.4

-0.2

-5.5

Imports of manufacturing inputs

(excluding fuels)

1.6

2.0

-9.9

6.2

Goods exports (excluding agriculture) 2

-12.5

-2.2

13.8

2.8

Services exports (excluding transportation) 3

 

 

6.9

-6.5

Number of employee posts in the private sector

 

 

15.3

-28.4

Job vacancy rate in the business sector4

2.1

2.2

2.0

1.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since the Central Bureau of Statistics did not calculate seasonally adjusted series for some of the variables, there may be inconsistencies between some of the variables appearing the Composite Index tables and Central Bureau of Statistics publications.

 

1 Since the Central Bureau of Statistics did not calculate seasonal adjustments for March–June, Industrial Production and revenue data for those months were calculated on the basis of projected seasonality for those months, and the series were not revised retroactively.

2 Goods imports and exports are calculated in fixed prices (adjusted for changes in foreign trade price indices).

3 Services exports are calculated in real terms using the Consumer Price Index, and are comprised of the export of other business services and the export of tourism services.  Since the Central Bureau of Statistics did not calculate seasonal adjustments for April–May for data on the export of tourism services, services exports data for April–May are the sum of other business services exports, seasonally adjusted, and tourism services exports using original data.

4 The job vacancy rate is calculated as a share of the total number of employed people and is included in the index at its level.  Since the Central Bureau of Statistics did not calculate seasonal adjustments for March–July, the data for those months are not seasonally adjusted.

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