Companies Survey, 1st quarter, 2004

12/05/2004
All Press Releases In Subject:
The Economy and Economic Activity

Companies Survey, 1st quarter, 2004

Overview:

Reports from companies for the first quarter of 2004 indicate that total economic activity increased at a faster pace, after rising in the previous two quarters. Almost all the principal industries showed increased activity, and in all of them activity in the domestic market and exports was expected to rise in the next quarter. Manufacturing output rose, mainly reflecting an increase in export sales. Export orders also went up, and for the first time in a long period domestic orders also increased. Trading companies’ sales rose, after a standstill in the previous quarter, and the rise was expected to continue in the next quarter. Business services companies reported, for the first time in a long while, a slight increase in revenue, with a rise in sales of services abroad. Hotel bed nights of foreign tourists and of Israelis continued to rise, and activity was expected to continue rising in the next quarter. In the transport and communications secondary industries there was a marked increase in air and sea transport, in contrast to the standstill in overland transport activity and communications. In construction the decline in buildings and infrastructure moderated, and for the first time building companies expected activity to increase in the next quarter. In reports on the severity of constraints on implementing activity, the greater severity of demand side than supply side constraints was notable, although these eased somewhat in some industries. Average inflation expectations for the next twelve months went up a little in this quarter, to 2.1 percent, with the share of companies expecting inflation to be within the target range remaining stable at about 81 percent.

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