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Israel Economy: from the All Country Info reference guide to country facts

Israel Economy

Israel Economy: A summary of information about Israel Economy, from government research data as well as independent research and other sources.

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Israel: Economy

Economy - overview
Israel has a technologically advanced market
economy with substantial government participation. 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. Israel
is largely self-sufficient in food production except for grains.
Diamonds, high-technology equipment, and agricultural products (fruits
and vegetables) are leading exports. Israel usually posts sizable
current account 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, which is its major source of economic
and military aid. The influx of Jewish immigrants from the former USSR
topped 750,000 during the period 1989-99, bringing the population of
Israel from the former Soviet Union to 1 million, one-sixth of the
total population, and adding scientific and professional expertise of
substantial value for the economy's future. The influx, coupled with
the opening of new markets at the end of the Cold War, energized
Israel's economy, which grew rapidly in the early 1990s. But growth
began slowing in 1996 when the government imposed tighter fiscal and
monetary policies and the immigration bonus petered out. Those
policies brought inflation down to record low levels in 1999 and,
coupled with improved prospects for the Middle East peace process, are
creating a climate for stronger GDP growth in the year 2000.
GDP
purchasing power parity - $105.4 billion (1999 est.)
GDP - real growth rate
2.1% (1999 est.)
GDP - per capita
purchasing power parity - $18,300 (1999 est.)
GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 2%
industry: 17%
services: 81% (1997 est.)
Population below poverty line
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: 2.8%
highest 10%: 26.9% (1992)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
1.3% (1999 est.)
Labor force
2.3 million (1997)
Labor force - by occupation
public services 31.2%, manufacturing
20.2%, finance and business 13.1%, commerce 12.8%, construction 7.5%,
personal and other services 6.4%, transport, storage, and
communications 6.2%, agriculture, forestry, and fishing 2.6% (1996)
Unemployment rate
9.1% (1999 est.)
Budget
revenues: $40 billion
expenditures: $42.4 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA
(2000 est.)
Industries
food processing, diamond cutting and polishing, textiles
and apparel, chemicals, metal products, military equipment, transport
equipment, electrical equipment, potash mining, high-technology
electronics, tourism
Industrial production growth rate
5.4% (1996)
Electricity - production
35.338 billion kWh (1998)
Electricity - production by source
fossil fuel: 99.9%
hydro: 0.1%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1998)
Electricity - consumption
31.805 billion kWh (1998)
Electricity - exports
1.061 billion kWh (1998)
Electricity - imports
2 million kWh (1998)
Agriculture - products
citrus, vegetables, cotton; beef, poultry,
dairy products
Exports
$23.5 billion (f.o.b., 1999)
Exports - commodities
machinery and equipment, software, cut
diamonds, chemicals, textiles and apparel, agricultural products
Exports - partners
US 32%, UK, Hong Kong, Benelux, Japan, Netherlands
(1997)
Imports
$30.6 billion (f.o.b., 1999)
Imports - commodities
raw materials, military equipment, investment
goods, rough diamonds, fuels, consumer goods
Imports - partners
US 19%, Benelux 12%, Germany 9%, UK 8%, Italy 7%,
Switzerland 6% (1997)
Debt - external
$18.7 billion (1997)
Economic aid - recipient
$1.1 billion from the US (1999)
Currency
1 new Israeli shekel (NIS) = 100 new agorot
Exchange rates
new Israeli shekels (NIS) per US$1 - 4.2260 (November
1999), 3.8001 (1999), 3.4494 (1997), 3.1917 (1996), 3.0113 (1995)
Fiscal year
calendar year
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