Israel has faced problems in the balance of payments since 1948 because imports of goods and services have always exceeded exports. Figure 5.1 shows the main developments since 1970. Large deficits in the mid-1970s and in the period 1978–1984 resulted in serious crises. Since 1985 unilateral transfers, mainly consisting of U.S. aid, financed the deficit on goods and services, and as a result there have been small surpluses in the current account in a number of years (see Tables 5.1 and 5.2).