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Israel: Economy

Economy Israel
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 imports significant quantities of grain but is largely self-sufficient in other agricultural products. Cut diamonds, high-technology equipment, and agricultural products (fruits and vegetables) are the 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 during the period 1989-99, 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; growth began moderating in 1996 when the government imposed tighter fiscal and monetary policies and the immigration bonus petered out. Growth was a strong 7.2% in 2000, but the bitter Israeli-Palestinian conflict, difficulties in the high-technology, construction, and tourist sectors, and fiscal austerity in the face of growing inflation led to small declines in GDP in 2001 and 2002.
GDP:
purchasing power parity - $117.4 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
-0.8% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $19,500 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 3%
industry: 30%
services: 67% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line:
18% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.4%
highest 10%: 28.3% (1997)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
35.5 (2001)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
5.7% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
2.5 million (2002 est.)
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:
10.4% (2002 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $38.5 billion
expenditures: $45.1 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2002 est.)
Industries:
high-technology projects (including aviation, communications, computer-aided design and manufactures, medical electronics), wood and paper products, potash and phosphates, food, beverages, and tobacco, caustic soda, cement, diamond cutting
Industrial production growth rate:
-1.5% (2002 est.)
Electricity - production:
42.24 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 99.9%
hydro: 0.1%
other: 0% (2001)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
37.82 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
1.457 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
80 bbl/day NA bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
260,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA (2001)
Oil - proved reserves:
1.92 million bbl (37257)
Natural gas - production:
10 million cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
10 million cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
20.81 billion cu m (37257)
Agriculture - products:
citrus, vegetables, cotton; beef, poultry, dairy products
Exports:
$28.1 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, software, cut diamonds, agricultural products, chemicals, textiles and apparel
Exports - partners:
US 39.2%, Belgium 6.5%, Germany 4.4%, UK 4.2% (2002)
Imports:
$30.8 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports - commodities:
raw materials, military equipment, investment goods, rough diamonds, fuels, grain, consumer goods
Imports - partners:
US 21.6%, Belgium 8.9%, Germany 6.7%, UK 6.6%, Switzerland 4.9%, Italy 4.5% (2002)
Debt - external:
$42.8 billion (2001 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$720 million from US (2001 est.)
Currency:
new Israeli shekel (ILS); note - NIS is the currency abbreviation; ILS is the International Organization for Standarization (ISO) code for the NIS
Currency code:
ILS
Exchange rates:
new Israeli shekels per US dollar - 4.74 (2002), 4.21 (2001), 4.08 (2000), 4.14 (1999), 3.8 (1998)
Fiscal year:
calendar year

Also See:

Background & Country Profile
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Transnational Issues & International Disputes
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Source: The CIA World Fact Book 2003

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