JERUSALEM, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Israel's economy grew at its slowest pace in 3-1/2 years in the fourth quarter, posting a lower-than-expected annualised rate of 2.5 percent, the Central Bureau of Statistics said on Sunday.
For all of 2012, Israel's gross domestic product grew 3.2 percent, below a previous estimate of 3.3 percent and far weaker than a 4.6 percent spurt in 2011.
Exports - which account for more than 40 percent of Israel's economic activity - fell 6.5 percent in the October-December period for its second straight quarterly drop. Private spending edged up 0.3 percent while imports dipped 8.1 percent, its third straight quarterly decrease. Similarly, investment in fixed assets declined 11.7 percent, a fourth consecutive fall.
Fourth-quarter GDP growth was forecast at 2.7 percent, according to a Reuters poll of economists.
The bureau revised third-quarter GDP growth to 2.8 percent from 2.9 percent.
(Reporting by Steven Scheer) Keywords: ISRAEL GDP/
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