Economy of Israel

Economy of Israel

Infobox Economy
country = Israel

width = 200px
caption = 1 New Israeli Shekel Coin
currency = New Israeli Shekel (NIS)
year = Calendar Year
organs = WTO, OECD (Trial member)
rank = 44
gdp = $195,308m
growth = 5.3% (2007)
per capita = $28,800 (2007 est.)
sectors = agriculture (1.6%), industry (30.8%), services (66.6%)
inflation = 0.4% (2007 est.)
poverty = 21.6% (2005)
gini = 38.6 (2005)
labor = 2.85 million (2007)
occupations = agriculture, forestry, and fishing (2.6%), manufacturing (20.2%), construction (7.5%), commerce (12.8%), transport, storage, and communications (6.2%), finance and business (13.1%), personal and other services (6.4%), public services (31.2%) (1996)
unemployment = 5.9% (2008) []
industries = high-technology projects (including aviation, communications, computer-aided design and manufacture, medical electronics, fiber optics), wood and paper products, potash and phosphates, food, beverages, and tobacco, caustic soda, cement, construction, metal products, chemical products, plastics, diamond cutting, textiles and footwear
exports = $48.6 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
export-goods = machinery and equipment, software, cut diamonds, agricultural products, chemicals, textiles and apparel, military equipment, food.
export-partners = US 38.4%, Belgium 6.5%, Hong Kong 5.9% (2006)
imports = $52.8 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
import-goods = raw materials, military equipment, investment goods, rough diamonds, fuels, grain, consumer goods
import-partners = US 12.4%, Belgium 8.2%, Germany 6.7%, Switzerland 5.9%, UK 5.1%, China 5.1% (2006)
external debt = $87.43 billion (30 June 2007)
revenue = $48.38 billion
expenses = $49.62 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (2006 est.)
aid = recipient: $120 million from US (FY07)
donor: pledged $5 million to Darfur refugees in 2007 [ [ Israel to donate $5 million in aid to refugees in Darfur and Chad] ]
cianame = is
spelling = is

The economy of Israel is diversified with substantial government ownership and a rapidly developing high-tech sector. Poor in natural resources, Israel depends on imports of petroleum, coal, food, uncut diamonds, other production inputs, and military equipment. In May 2007, Israel was invited to join the OECD. [citeweb | url=,7340,L-3400955,00.html | title=Israel invited to join the OECD | accessdate=2007-05-21]

The country's GDP (Purchasing power parity) in 2006 reached $195 billion according to the International Monetary Fund or $179 billion according to the World Bank (see List of countries by GDP (PPP)). GDP per capita has been $31,767 according to the International Monetary Fund in 2007 or $26,200 in 2006 according to the CIA World Factbook. $31,767 is on par with most Western European countries like France or Italy, while $26,200 is lower than most Western European countries, except Portugal but higher than all Eastern European countries and close to the average for the European Union (see List of countries by GDP (PPP) per capita). The economy grew by 8% in the last quarter of 2006, the fastest growth of any Western nation."Israeli Growth", "Dateline World Jewry", September, 2007]

The major industrial sectors include metal products, electronic and biomedical equipment, processed foods, chemicals, and transport equipment. Israel possesses a substantial service sector and the Israel diamond industry is one of the world's centers for diamond cutting and polishing. It is also a world leader in software development and is a major tourist destination. In 1998, Tel Aviv was named by Newsweek as one of the ten most technologically influential cities in the world. [ [ Tel Aviv Hailed as One of the World's Top Hi-tech Centers] . The Israeli Economy Achievements and Potential. Ministry of Finance of Israel (MOF) November 1998.] American billionaires and business tycoons including Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Donald Trump have each praised Israel’s economic environment, [cite news|url=|title=AIPAC: Today's Briefing|date=2006-12-12|accessdate=2006-12-12] and the country was the destination for Berkshire Hathaway's first investment outside of the USA when it purchased ISCAR Metalworking, and the first R&D Centers outside the USA for companies including Intel and Microsoft. The country has now become known as Silicon Wadi.

Israel has signed free trade agreements with the European Union, the United States, the European Free Trade Association, Turkey, Mexico, Canada, Jordan, and Egypt, and on 18 December 2007, became the first non-Latin American country to sign a free trade agreement with Mercosur. [] [ December 2007.htm]

Macro-economic trend

This is a chart of trend of gross domestic product of Israel at market prices [ estimated] by the International Monetary Fund and EconStats with figures in millions of Israeli Shekels.fnb|1 [ IMF Report]

Average wages in 2007 hover around $109-133 per day.

Israel's strong commitment to economic development and its talented work force led to economic growth rates during the nation's first two decades that frequently exceeded 10% annually. The years after the 1973 Yom Kippur War were a lost decade economically, as growth stalled, inflation soared and government expenditures rose significantly. Also worthy of mention is the 1983 Bank stock crisis. By 1984 the economic situation became almost catastrophic with inflation reaching an annual rate close to 450% and projected to reach over 1000% by the end of the following year. However, the successful economic stabilization plan implemented in 1985 and the subsequent introduction of market-oriented structural reforms reinvigorated the economy and paved the way for its rapid growth in the 1990s and became a model for other countries facing similar economic crises.

Two developments have helped to transform Israel's economy since the beginning of the 1990s. The first is waves of Jewish immigration, predominantly from the countries of the former USSR, that has brought over one million of new citizens to Israel. These new immigrants, many of them highly educated, now constitute some 16% of Israel's 6.5 million population. The second development benefiting the Israeli economy is the peace process begun at the Madrid conference of October 1991, which led to the signing of accords led to a peace treaty between Israel and Jordan (1994). The Oslo Accords between Israel and the Arabs led to the Second Intifada, which caused Israel to lose billions of dollars in economic terms. Experts say that even had the peace process not failed the Arab economies had little to offer Israel in terms of trade except for oil. In spite of Israel's difficult security situation it managed to open up new markets to Israeli exporters farther afield, such as in the rapidly growing countries of East Asia. In the past few years there has been an unprecedented inflow of foreign investment in Israel, as companies that formerly shunned the Israeli market now see its potential contribution to their global strategies. In 2006, foreign investment in Israel totaled $13 billion, according to the Manufacturers Association of Israel. Thus, in Israeli terms, prosperity increases, regardless of whether there is a de-facto peace or not. The Financial Times recently said that 'bombs drop, yet Israel's economy grows', as a demarker to this fact. [,dwp_uuid=f98b03ba-4d11-11da-ba44-0000779e2340.html]

Israeli companies, particularly in the high-tech area, have recently enjoyed considerable success raising money on Wall Street and other world financial markets; Israel now ranks second among foreign countries in the number of its companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges.

External trade

For 2006, Israeli exports grew by 11% to just over $29 billion; the hi-tech sector accounted for $14 billion, a 20% increase from the previous year.

The United States is Israel's largest trading partner; two-way trade totalled some $12.6 billion in 1997. The principal U.S. exports to Israel include computers, integrated circuits, aircraft parts and other defense equipment, wheat, and automobiles. Israel's chief exports to the U.S. include cut diamonds, jewelry, integrated circuits, printing machinery, and telecommunications equipment. The two countries signed a free trade agreement (FTA) in 1985 that progressively eliminated tariffs on most goods traded between the two countries over the following ten years. An agricultural trade accord was signed in November 1996, which addressed the remaining goods not covered in the FTA. Some non-tariff barriers and tariffs on goods remain, however. Israel also has trade and cooperation agreements in place with the European Union and Canada, and is seeking to conclude such agreements with a number of other countries, including Turkey, Jordan and several countries in Eastern Europe.

Until the last decade, Israel's trade with the Arab world was minimal due to the Arab League boycott. Beginning in 1945, Arab nations not only refused to have direct trade with Israel (the primary boycott), but they also refused to do business with any corporation that operated in Israel, or any corporation that did business with a corporation that did business with Israel (the secondary and tertiary boycotts).

2.8% of the country's GDP is derived from Agricultural activity. While Israel imports substantial quantities of grain, it is largely self-sufficient in other agricultural products and food stuffs, because food must be regulated Kashrut for sale in the Israeli retail market, and hence imports almost no food products from other countries. For centuries, farmers in Israel have grown varieties of citrus fruits such as grapefruit, oranges and lemons. Citrus fruits are still Israel's major agricultural export (see Jaffa orange).

Israel is one of the world's major exporters of military equipment, accounting for 10%Fact|date=March 2007 of the world total in 2007.


Comparing incomes of a median household in Israel vs. other countries.

According to the data published by the Israeli central bank, 60% of the poor households in Israel are of the Haredi Jews and the Israeli Arabs in which there is a high birth rate and a low participation rate in the labor force.

ee also

*Economy of Asia
*List of countries by GDP (PPP)
*Tel Aviv Stock Exchange


  • [] Sara and Meir Aharoni (2005). Industry & Economy in Israel.
  • External links

    * [,7340,L-3085,00.html Economy] Updates from Ynetnews
    * [ CIA World Factbook - Israel]
    * [ IMF]
    * [,7340,L-3085,00.html Current Israel Economy] - Ynetnews English version of Yediot Aharonot newspaper
    * [ Investments in Israel]
    * [" The Global Political Economy of Israel"]
    * [ Trump upbeat on Israel's economy]
    * [ 'Israel could be one of world's most prosperous economies']
    * [ Wertheimer joins Arison on Forbes' richest Israelis list]
    * [,7340,L-3418550,00.htm Merrill Lynch: 7,200 millionaires living in Israel]
    * [,dwp_uuid=50b45d26-5b63-11da-b221-0000779e2340.html Israel's economic growth defies experts] Tobias Buck, "Financial Times"
    * [ U.S.-Israel Free Trade Area Agreement]

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