Israel's foreign trade deficit fell to $489.4 million in September from $848.1 million in August but was sharply up from a year earlier, the Central Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday.
The deficit for the first nine months of the year amounted to $5.948 billion compared with a deficit of $5.201 billion in the same period of 2000.
Non-perishables imports for the first nine months came to $1.25 billion, about the same as in the parallel period of last year.
Imports excluding perishables was down 9% in September, according to Customs and VAT figures. Imports of these items, such as cars, fridges, washing machines, TVs, cigarettes and so on came to $119.1 million in September 2001, compared with $131.4 million in September 2000.
Car imports tumbled 17% in September, to $85.5 million. This is the item most responsible for the September slide.