The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) released initial figures for economic growth during the second quarter of 2019. CBS showed a growth rate of only 1% during Q2, a marked decrease from 4.7% rise seen in Q1. The number is a little misleading. Economic growth reported in the first quarter was inflated by the pre-importing of cars in March, set to arrive in the country before the import taxes on several brands were scheduled to rise.
Despite this fact, the 1% growth figure should be of some concern. During Q1, exports rose by 8.3%, but only by 4.6% in Q2. Imports grew by 5.7% in the first quarter and only 2% in the second quarter. Consumer spending, which had increased by 3.8% in the first quarter, became negative, with a drop of 3% in the second quarter. The importation of cars which had grown 68% in the first quarter, dropped by 53% in the second. While the economy continues to grow, these precipitous drops, despite the partial explanation, due to the impact of the decline in car imports should be a concern.