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March 30, 2017 1:07 pm

Report: Israel’s 2016 Economic Performance Best in Four Years

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Shoppers at a Tel Aviv market. Photo: Miriam Alster/Flash90. – Israel’s 2016 economic performance was the country’s best in four years, the Bank of Israel said Wednesday.

In its 2016 annual report, the central bank noted the country exceeded projections by 1.2 percentage points and grew 4% last year, while it grew 2.5% in 2015 and 3.2% in 2014.

Israel’s gross domestic product (GDP) hit a record NIS 1.22 trillion ($337 billion) and the state had a record $12.4 billion surplus in its current account balance of payments last year, while unemployment dropped to 4.8%.

In other noteworthy figures, public debt dropped to an all-time low 62.8% of GDP; the number of employed Israelis hit a record-high 3.74 million people; the GDP per capita reached a historic high of $36,800; private consumption climbed 6%; and Israelis’ overall standard of living increased 5%.

Israel’s economic growth was double that of America’s in the same time period, and it was 2.3 times higher than the average among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) members, and 2.5 times higher than average growth in the Eurozone.

According to the bank’s data, the Israeli economy has grown a cumulative 21.6% since 2011, exceeding the growth of all 34 other OECD member states.

“The picture of the Israeli economy that emerges from this report, and other reports we receive, is very good,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. “Israel is a well-managed, growing economy…But we must ensure the continued growth, and the growth of other resources we want to dedicate to infrastructure and education.”

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