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Monday, November 22, 2010

Israel turns in 6th straight growth quarter

Israel turned in its sixth straight quarter of growth in the third quarter, with a preliminary estimate of 3.8%.
Israel's economy grew for a sixth straight quarter in the July-September period, but falling exports stemming from weak US and European economies slowed the rate and are expected to dampen growth into 2011.

Gross domestic product grew an annualized 3.8% in the third quarter, the Central Bureau of Statistics said in an initial estimate on Tuesday. A Reuters survey of nine analysts had forecast a 3.2% increase.

Growth slowed from a 4.5% pace in the second quarter but the economy has expanded at least 3.6% in every three-month period since the third quarter of 2009, as Israel rebound from a brief recession in the wake of the global financial crisis.

The Bank of Israel forecasts 4% growth in 2010, easing to 3.8% in 2011. The economy grew 0.8% to NIS 768 billion (about $210 billion) in 2009.

"The economy is very robust. We are seeing a rapid growth rate and other drivers are making up for the drop in exports, so the total economy is in pretty good shape," said HSBC economist Jonathan Katz. "Because of the soft global environment, growth may come down a notch to 3.4%."

Some analysts believe the data support another short-term interest rate increase later this month. Strong growth and high inflation expectations have already led to six, quarter-point rate increases to 2% since August 2009.
I have to tell you that with all the supposed growth, I still know an awful lot of unemployed and underemployed people here, and a lot of people working full time for ridiculously low salaries.

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