Israeli economy continues strong growth
Israel's economy continued to bound forward with growth above 5 percent for the third straight year in 2006, despite Palestinian unrest and last year's border war in southern Lebanon.These stats show the importance of producing goods and services that people want as opposed the the Palestinians who produce human ordinance to explode around Israelis. The contrast with the Palestinians could not be more sharp and you would think the Palestinians would take a short vacation from their hatred and religious bigotry to take note and change their focus. But, they are too consumed by religious bigotry and real estate worship to focus on more productive commerce.
The Central Bureau of Statistics in Jerusalem reported last week that the cost of the war was only 0.3 percent of the gross domestic product, not 1 percent as had been estimated, leaving growth in 2006 at 5.1 percent.
The three consecutive years of strong growth have been accompanied by high levels of foreign investment that has been relatively unaffected by violence in the Palestinian territories and intermittent attacks on Israelis.
In a speech in December four months after the Lebanon war Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert declared that Israel's economy had never been so healthy.
"This is the first year in the history of the state in which exports exceed imports by billions of dollars," he said.
The Economist, which ranks economies on the basis of five-year average GDP growth, has placed Israel among the five fastest-growing emerging markets in the world.
In the past 20 years, Israel rose 12 places from the 48th biggest economy in the early 1980s to the 36th biggest in the 2001-05 period. During the same period, it underwent two long Palestinians intifadas and two wars in Lebanon in addition to being on the fringe of the 1991 Gulf War, in which it was hit by dozens of Iraqi missiles.
In upgrading Israel's credit rating this month from "stable" to "positive," the international rating agency Standard & Poor's said the revision "reflects the improved resilience of Israel's public finances and economy to geopolitical shocks after a three-year period of fiscal consolidation and strong economic growth."