(Updates with export and import figures in second paragraph.)
Oct. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Israel posted its widest trade deficit since at least 1995 as imports rose.
The gap, excluding polished diamonds, ships and aircraft, widened to a seasonally adjusted $1.9 billion in September from $1.7 billion the previous month, the Jerusalem-based Central Bureau of Statistics said on its website today. Imports rose 3.5 percent to $5.5 billion, while exports increased 1.1 percent to $3.7 billion.
Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer cut the benchmark interest rate for the first time in 2 1/2 years on Sept. 26, joining countries including Turkey and Brazil in reducing lending costs on the threat of a global slowdown. Fischer lowered the rate by a quarter point to 3 percent.
The rate cut followed a Sept. 22 announcement that the central bank had reduced its forecast for Israeli economic growth next year to 3.2 percent from 3.9 percent, citing increased uncertainty about the global economy and a decline in the rate of growth in world trade.
--Editors: Louis Meixler, Susan Lerner.
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