The economy will have grown 5.4 percent by the end of 2006 following 5.2% growth last year, the Manufacturers Association of Israel estimated Monday, a week after the Finance Ministry updated its own 2006 forecast to 5.3%.
The Manufacturers also predicted that business output would advance 6.6%; exports would grow 6.7%; unemployment would fall to 8.5%; participation in the work force would grow to 55.5% of the population from 55.2%, while the work force would grow 2.9%, adding 73,000 jobs.
The association called on the government lower taxes and to direct budgetary spending to growth engines including exports, small businesses and research and development.
Some NIS 2.5 billion should be dedicated to R&D alone in both 2006 and 2007.
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