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Israel

 
 

Israel Main Page

 

Economy ::Israel

Israel is considered one of the most advanced countries in Southwest Asia in economic and industrial development. In 2010, it joined the OECD.The country is ranked 3rd in the region on the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Index as well as in the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report. It has the second-largest number of startup companies in the world (after the United States) and the largest number of NASDAQ-listed companies outside North America.

In 2009, Israel had the 49th-highest gross domestic product and 29th-highest gross domestic product per capita (at purchasing power parity) at $206.4 billion and $28,393, respectively. The New Israeli Shekel is one of 17 freely convertible currencies according to the CLS list.

In 2010, Israel ranked 17th among of the world's most economically developed nations, according to IMD's World Competitiveness Yearbook. The Israeli economy was ranked first as the world's most durable economy in the face of crises, and was also ranked first in the rate of research and development center investments.

The Bank of Israel was ranked first among central banks for its efficient functioning, up from the 8th place in 2009. Israel was also ranked as the worldwide leader in its supply of skilled manpower.

Despite limited natural resources, intensive development of the agricultural and industrial sectors over the past decades has made Israel largely self-sufficient in food production, apart from grains and beef. Other major imports to Israel, totaling $47.8 billion in 2006, include fossil fuels, raw materials, and military equipment Leading exports include fruits, vegetables, pharmaceuticals, software, chemicals, military technology, and diamonds; in 2006, Israeli exports reached $42.86 billion.

Israel is a global leader in water conservation and geothermal energy, and its development of cutting-edge technologies in software, communications and the life sciences have evoked comparisons with Silicon Valley. Intel and Microsoft built their first overseas research and development centers in Israel, and other high-tech multi-national corporations, such as IBM, Cisco Systems, and Motorola, have opened facilities in the country. In July 2007, U.S. billionaire Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway bought an Israeli company Iscar, its first non-U.S. acquisition, for $4 billion. Since the 1970s, Israel has received economic and military aid from the United States, whose loans account for the bulk of Israel's external debt.

Tourism

Tourism, especially religious tourism, is an important industry in Israel, with the country's temperate climate, beaches, archaeological and historical sites, and unique geography also drawing tourists. Israel's security problems have taken their toll on the industry, but the number of incoming tourists is on the rebound. In 2008, over 3 million tourists visited Israel. Israel has the highest number of museums per capita in the world.

Tel Aviv Beach 

Economy - overview:
Israel has a technologically advanced market economy. It depends on imports of crude oil, grains, raw materials, and military equipment. Despite limited natural resources, Israel has intensively developed its agricultural and industrial sectors over the past 20 years. Cut diamonds, high-technology equipment, and agricultural products (fruits and vegetables) are the leading exports. Israel usually posts sizable trade deficits, which are covered by large transfer payments from abroad and by foreign loans. Roughly half of the government's external debt is owed to the US, its major source of economic and military aid. Israel's GDP, after contracting slightly in 2001 and 2002 due to the Palestinian conflict and troubles in the high-technology sector, grew about 5% per year from 2004-07. The global financial crisis of 2008-09 spurred a brief recession in Israel, but the country entered the crisis with solid fundamentals - following years of prudent fiscal policy and a series of liberalizing reforms - and a resilient banking sector, and the economy has shown signs of an early recovery. Following GDP growth of 4% in 2008, Israel's GDP grew by 0.5% in 2009 and is expected to expand in 2010. The global economic downturn affected Israel's economy primarily through reduced demand for Israel's exports in the United States and EU, Israel's top trading partners. Exports account for about 45% of the country's GDP. The Israeli Government responded to the recession by implementing a modest fiscal stimulus package and an aggressive expansionary monetary policy - including cutting interest rates to record lows, purchasing government bonds, and intervening in the foreign currency market. The Bank of Israel began raising interest rates in the summer of 2009 when inflation rose above the upper end of the Bank's target and the economy began to show signs of recovery.


Tel Aviv

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$206.9 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 51
$206.5 billion (2008 est.)
$197.8 billion (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate):
$195.4 billion (2009 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
0.2% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113
4.4% (2008 est.)
5.4% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$28,600 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 48
$29,000 (2008 est.)
$28,300 (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 2.6%
industry: 32%
services: 65.4% (2009 est.)
Labor force:
3.015 million (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 103
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 2%
industry: 16%
services: 82% (September 2008)
Unemployment rate:
7.6% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 77
6.1% (2008 est.)
Population below poverty line:
23.6%
note: Israel's poverty line is $7.30 per person per day (2007)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.5%
highest 10%: 24.3% (2008)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
39.2 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 67
35.5 (2001)
Investment (gross fixed):
16.7% of GDP (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 125
Budget:
revenues: $51.52 billion
expenditures: $61.51 billion (2009 est.)
Public debt:
77.7% of GDP (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 17
75.2% of GDP (2008 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
3.3% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113
4.6% (2008 est.)
Central bank discount rate:
1% (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 130
2.5% (31 December 2008)
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
3.73% (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138
6.06% (31 December 2008 est.)
Stock of narrow money:
$33.73 billion (31 December 2009)
$25.13 billion (31 December 2008)
Stock of broad money:
$208.8 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
$195.7 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Stock of domestic credit:
$158.7 billion (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 41
$156.8 billion (31 December 2008)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$188.7 billion (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 29
$134.5 billion (31 December 2008)
$236.4 billion (31 December 2007)
Agriculture - products:
citrus, vegetables, cotton; beef, poultry, dairy products
Industries:
high-technology products (including aviation, communications, computer-aided design and manufactures, medical electronics, fiber optics), wood and paper products, potash and phosphates, food, beverages, and tobacco, caustic soda, cement, construction, metals products, chemical products, plastics, diamond cutting, textiles, footwear


Dea Sea Factory 

Industrial production growth rate:
-0.2% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 73
Electricity - production:
54.5 billion kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 46
Electricity - consumption:
46.38 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 48
Electricity - exports:
2.081 billion kWh (2007)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2008)
Oil - production:
3,806 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 99
Oil - consumption:
231,000 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 52
Oil - exports:
69,580 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 74
Oil - imports:
318,900 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 34
Oil - proved reserves:
1.94 million bbl (1 January 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 95
Natural gas - production:
1.19 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62
Natural gas - consumption:
1.19 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 88
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 168
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 160
Natural gas - proved reserves:
30.44 billion cu m (1 January 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 70
Current account balance:
$7.637 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 27
$1.648 billion (2008 est.)
Exports:
$45.9 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 48
$57.16 billion (2008 est.)
Exports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, software, cut diamonds, agricultural products, chemicals, textiles and apparel
Exports - partners:
US 35.05%, Hong Kong 6.02%, Belgium 4.95% (2009)
Imports:
$45.99 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 47
$64.4 billion (2008 est.)
Imports - commodities:
raw materials, military equipment, investment goods, rough diamonds, fuels, grain, consumer goods
Imports - partners:
US 12.35%, China 7.43%, Germany 7.1%, Switzerland 6.94%, Belgium 5.42%, Italy 4.49%, UK 4.03%, Netherlands 3.98% (2009)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$60.61 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 27
$42.51 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Debt - external:
$86.78 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 36
$86.08 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$58.82 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 50
$56.93 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$55.02 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 28
$54.55 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Exchange rates:
new Israeli shekels (ILS) per US dollar - 3.93 (2009), 3.588 (2008), 4.14 (2007), 4.4565 (2006), 4.4877 (2005)

 


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