JERUSALEM, May 25 (Xinhua) -- Israel's GDP contracted by annualized 7.1 percent in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the fourth quarter of 2019, according to a report released by the state's Central Bureau of Statistics on Monday.
This decline, sharpest in the last 20 years, is mainly due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition, a sharp decrease in passenger car imports intensified the GDP sharp fall.
According to the report, a sharp decrease of an annualized 20.3 percent was registered in private consumption expenditure in the first quarter.
A significant 27.5 percent drop in imports of goods and services was also seen in the first quarter, particularly an annualized 82 percent decline in defense imports and 85.2 decline in tourism services imports.
Meanwhile, Israel's goods and services exports fell by 0.5 percent in the first quarter, following a 9.8 percent increase in the previous quarter.
According to the central bank's special update to its macroeconomic forecast, Israel's GDP is expected to contract by 4.5 percent in 2020, compared with 5.3 percent in its April's forecast.
According to the update, Israel's GDP is expected to grow by 6.8 percent in 2021, compared with 8.7 percent in the April forecast. Enditem