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Israel’s Balance of Payment Deficit at an All-time High

April 27, 1983
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Israel’s balance of payment deficit has reached the highest point in the history of the State, including the difficult times right after the 1973 Yom Kippur War, according to figures released by the Central Bureau of Statistics yesterday.

Paradoxically, the deficit grew last year despite on overall improvement in Israel’s exports. It amounted to $4.72 billion in 1982, an increase of $400 million over the previous year. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, Israel’s income from overseas trade decreased by $300 million or II percent compared to 1981 even though improved exports injected $530 million into the economy and security related imports declined by $640 million.

Without those two elements, the deficit would have reached $5.9 billion, the Central Bureau reported. As matters stand now, Israel has become more dependent than ever on loans which increased during the past year by $2 billion, for a total outstanding of $28 billion. Israel has paid some $300 million on the interest alone. It was noted that since Yoram Aridor became Finance Minister two years ago, Israel’s foreign debt increased by 25 percent.

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