The Israeli economy has recovered from the relative slowdown that followed last summer’s Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip, marking 7.2 percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2014, the Central Bureau of Statistics said Monday.
Operation Protective Edge was followed by accelerated economic activity [Illustrative] – Photo: Rafael Ben-Ari
The third quarter of 2014 saw growth dip to 0.6 percent over the Gaza campaign.
The latest report pegged the gross domestic product of the business sector, the main growth engine for the Israeli economy, at 8.2 percent, and said that overall, the bleak predictions of negative economic growth — to the tune of minus 0.4 percent in 2014’s third fiscal quarter — were proved wrong.
CBS data indicated that the growth rates noted in the fourth quarter were higher than those in the corresponding quarter in 2013, when growth rates were pegged at 2.7 percent, up from 2.3 percent in the first quarter of 2013.
The enhanced market performance of the fourth quarter of 2014 has been attributed to the rise in dollar rates, as well as to the government assistance afforded to exporters, industrialists, and farmers, among other factors.
The report also said that overall, the Israeli economy grew by 2.6 percent in the second half of 2014, compared to 2.7 percent in the first half and 3.4 percent in the second half of 2013. CBS economists said the favorable data supported projections that the local economy will grow by over 3 percent in 2015.
Alex Zabezhinsky, chief economist of the Tel Aviv-based Meitav Dash Investment House, said, “The surprising growth in the fourth quarter does not necessarily represent a boost to economic performance,” but most likely represents the fact that the conclusion of the Gaza operation was followed by accelerated, compensatory economic activity.
View original Israel Hayom publication at: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=23579