Israel’s economy contracted by around 7.1 percent in the first quarter, the country’s Central Bureau of Statistics announced on Monday.
This was the first quarterly contraction of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) since 2012, according to Reuters.
The contraction is mainly being attributed to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which affected trade, investment, consumer and government spending.
Private spending dropped 20.3 percent and investment in fixed assets fell by 17.3, while exports fell by 5.9 percent from January to March, according to the report. GDP contracted by 4.6 percent without including tax income on exports.
The fourth-quarter GDP growth rate in 2019 was at 4.6 percent as the economy grew 3.5 percent overall last year.
Israel’s Finance Ministry warned in late March that the shutdown of Israel’s economy due to the coronavirus pandemic would come at a cost of up to NIS 130 billion ($36 billion), which is 10 percent of the nation’s GDP.