The people of Israel are slashing their spending as recession deepens and the security uncertainty worsens. According to data from the Customs and VAT authority, the import of durables in 2002 contracted by a steep 17 percent to U.S. $1.379 billion, compared with $1.656 billion in 2001.
According to Customs and VAT figures, the import of TVs dropped by 29 percent in 2002, to 351,300 sets worth $75 million. The imports of refrigerators fell by 12 percent, to 191,300 devices worth $63.3 million. The import of washing machines tumbled by 14 percent in 2002 to $42 million, or 188,000 machines, while the import of dishwashers fell by 12 percent. (Ha'aretz)
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