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Israeli Economy Surges Before Pesach

Although the Bank of Israel released data last week showing the country to be in “the worst economic slow-down since the mid-1960s,” Israeli consumers are engaged in an orgy of holiday shopping with Passover less than two weeks away.

Never mind Shabbat. Stores were stormed last Saturday by throngs of shoppers eager to buy everything in sight.

Detergents, household goods, wines, clothing and electrical appliances topped the shopping lists of Israelis who seemed to ignore their overdrawn checking accounts and the overall air of economic uncertainty.

The big department stores reported sales jumping by 15 to 22 percent compared to the same period last year and an 11 percent rise in the number of customers.

According to store managers, sales were slower in April 1991 because many consumers had already stocked up for the Persian Gulf war.

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