Companies Survey, 1st quarter, 2003

15/04/2003
All Press Releases In Subject:
The Economy and Economic Activity

Companies Survey, 1st quarter, 2003

Overview:

that the decline in activity in all the principal industries continued. Most of the main aspects of activity reflected the decline: manufacturing output continued to fall, and there was a drop in sales to the domestic market; the decline in sales of trading companies became steeper; in the hotel industry, bednights of foreign tourists and of Israelis decreased; in construction, the downward trends continued, particularly in the construction of buildings, but also in infrastructure construction; among the two-digit industries, in transport the decrease accelerated, while in communications the standstill persisted; and in business services, domestic sales went down. The demand side featured prominently in reports on the severity of constraints on implementing activity, with the transport industry reporting an intensification of the constraint. The main supply-side constraint was financing difficulties in all industries except for construction, in which the shortage of skilled labor headed the list. Average inflation expectations for the next twelve months dropped slightly in the quarter to 4.4 percent, but the share of companies expecting inflation to exceed the upper limit of the target inflation range remained high, 72 percent, with only 1 percent of companies expecting inflation to be below the lower limit of the target. Companies expected the exchange rate twelve months hence to be about NIS 5.04 to the dollar, on average.

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