Israel’s Economic Growth Slows, But Remains Far Ahead of Global Average
Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics published bearish economic numbers Monday, forecasting growth at 3.4%, down from the 3.8% the Bank of Israel forecasted for this year.
According to Globes, the numbers are worrying and indicate the Israeli economy’s weakening growth. The Central Bureau of Statistics saw no growth in exports (excluding diamonds), due to the recession in the Eurozone and weaker economic growth in the U.S.
The only positive development in the Central Bureau of Statistics data is the 4% growth in private consumption, which is accelerating faster than in both of the two previous years. Also of note, the standard of living is forecast to rise by 2.1%, up from 1.4% in 2012.
Still, despite the troublesome numbers, analysts around the world remained optimistic, in no small part because Israel’s growth rate is projected to be well above the OECD average of 1.2%, and the 0.6% contraction in the Eurozone.
“Growth is pretty good compared to the rest of the world,” Daniel Hewitt, a London-based economist at Barclays, said before the announcement. “Indicators are mixed. It has a downward feel to it all, except for consumption. Exports have been very volatile. Consumption has been just great. The consumer is holding up the Israeli economy.”