Digital-Life Design Innovation Festival, Tel Aviv, Sept. 8, 2015
Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics forecasts the country’s economy will grow 2.5 percent this year. Above, the French minister of economy, industry and the digital sector, Emmanuel Macron (third from left), participates in the opening ceremony of the Digital-Life Design Innovation Festival in the Israeli Mediterranean coastal city of Tel Aviv Sept. 8, 2015. Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images

JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Israel's economy is on track to grow 2.5 percent in 2015, slightly lower than a 2.6 percent pace last year, the Central Bureau of Statistics said Sunday. Citing seven to nine months of data, the bureau said the economy this year was boosted by higher private spending. Although a fall in investment in fixed assets was less than in 2014, the economy was hit by a decline in exports compared with an advance the previous year.

In its third estimate of second-quarter gross domestic product, the bureau left unchanged its growth estimate of an annualized 0.1 percent, but it revised first-quarter GDP growth to an annualized 2.0 percent from 1.8 percent.

The Bank of Israel last month cut its 2015 growth estimate to 2.6 percent from 3.0 percent, while the Finance Ministry lowered its forecast for GDP growth this year to 2.6 percent from 2.9 percent. They expect growth of between 3.3 and 3.7 percent in 2016.

(Reporting by Steven Scheer)