Visitn Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, January 18, 2015.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Israel has officially surpassed Japan when it comes to gross domestic product per capita, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday, a sign that the Jewish state is evermore affluent.
Israel enjoys GDP per capita of $42,120 – which is calculated by dividing the country’s total economic output by its number of people.
In contrast, Japan’s GDP per capita is $40,850.
Netanyahu’s remarks, made at a Likud party faction meeting, signal that the country’s growing economic clout and its booming hi-tech industry is overtaking, on a per-capita wealth basis, Japan’s vaunted consumer electronics and automobile manufacturing.
It’s yet another sign that Israel’s economy continues to outperform other peers in the West, including in the United States and the eurozone.
The world average for GDP per capita is $11,730, according to the International Monetary Fund, while advanced economies enjoy an average gross domestic product per capita of $48,970.
The prime minister added that unemployment was at an all-time low, or at 3.7% in February 2018. Many economists deem it a state of “full employment” – when the economy is such that all eligible people who want jobs can get one.
That said, income inequality in Israel continues to rise.
The increasing GDP per capita merely points to a growing pie, not necessarily that the pie is being divided more equitably.
And analysts from the IMF and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) warn that unless Israel makes more headway in reducing social and educational gaps in the ultra-Orthodox and Arab sectors, Israel’s economic growth and competitiveness will falter.