Israel's economic growth in 2009 beats even optimistic forecast

Port2port News Service
Jan 4, 2010 
 
In the third quarter, the economy expanded an annualized 3%, while from April to June it grew 1.1%
 
The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) said at a Jerusalem press conference last week that against all expectations and in contrast to other developed economies around the world, Israel’s economy expanded faster than previously estimated this year as exports began to recover from the global financial crisis.
 
The Central Bureau of Statistics noted that Gross domestic product increased 0.5% from a year ago, compared to an OECD average of negative 3.5%. (The Central Bureau of Statistics estimated last October that the economy would experience zero growth in 2009).
 
The present estimate, based on data through November, compares with previous expectations of no growth from the bureau and the Bank of Israel. In the third quarter, the economy expanded an annualized 3%, while from April to June it grew 1.1%, the bureau said. 
 
It had earlier estimated 2.2% and 1 percent. Figures also show that Israel's GDP grew a surprisingly strong 3% in the third quarter of 2009, compared with 1.1% growth in the second quarter, and -3.2% in the first quarter. 
 
The Central Bureau of Statistics also reported that GDP growth per capita fell in 2009 by 1.3%. In OECD countries, per capita growth fell a sharper 4%. Unemployment was 7.7% in 2009, compared with an OECD average of 8.2%. Despite GDP growth, business product shrank 0.4%.
 
The bureau has not yet provided an estimate for the fourth quarter. The Israeli economy grew by 4% in 2008.

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