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Israel's consumers are shopping again.

With an improving security situation in Israel, the Globes Online website is reporting that consumers are shopping at malls again and in downtown stores. Citing statistics supplied by Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics, Globes said that non-food chain store sales rose at an annualized rate of 5.4 percent during the July 2005 through September 2005 period. Chain store sales also rose during the April 2005 through June 2005 posting a gain of 6.9 percent (annualized).

Supermarket chains posted food sales gains, too. Sales for the April 2005 through June 2005 were up 7.8 percent calculated on an annualized basis. Sales for the July 2005 through September 2005 period rose also, but not as much-only an annualized 2.6 percent. The reason for the slower growth in the more recent period is that Israeli consumers shop the local markets for fresh fruits and vegetables during the period because prices for these commodities are lower there.

Although security fears are generally not as pronounced as they had been, Globes pointed out that the Central Bureau of Statistics numbers indicated a slight drop in chain sales, which the website blamed on recent bombings and threats of more violence.

A separate Globes posting said that Israel's unemployment stayed at 9.1 percent for the seventh straight month. The government is predicting a decline to 8.5 percent.
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Publication:Market Africa Mid-East
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:7ISRA
Date:Nov 1, 2005
Words:226
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