The recession continues to hit at private consumption, according to figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics, and VAT and Customs Authority.

Imports of durables contracted 25% in August 2002 compared with the same month of last year, shrinking to NIS $114.9 million.

From January to August, imports of durables totaled $929.2 million, down 18% from the same period of 2001.

The import of cars tumbled by 26% in August year to year, to $85.6 million.

Television imports sank even more, by 30% to $5.5 million.

Washing machines imports took a 19% year to year hit, to $3.9 million, and import of fridges tumbled 10% to $8 million.