Israel's foreign trade data indicate that the trade deficit continues to swell. May imports amounted to $2,8 billion, while exports were just $2.2 billion, leaving a $600 million trade deficit.

According to Central Bureau of Statistics data, the trade deficit (net of ships, airplanes, diamonds and fuel) for the first five months of this year amounted to a monthly average $377 million or $4.5 billion in annual terms. This represents a 30% increase from 2001¿s $3.7 billion.

Consumer goods imports dropped in annual terms in March-May by 13.4% with curable consumer goods (furniture, home appliances and private cars) dropping 16.9%.

According to the data, technology exports, which represent 50% of industrial exports, have dropped 6.5% in annual terms since the beginning of the year.