Mightier than the dollar

The shekel continues to soar, but Israel’s economy remains strong, defying the doomsayers

By SHLOMO MAITAL
February 7, 2017 14:57
Art by Avi Katz

Art by Avi Katz. (photo credit: AVI KATZ)

 
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ECONOMISTS SUCH as myself have two talents. Our forecasts make weather forecasters look like geniuses and we are superb at turning good news into bad. These are our gifts to the world.

Take, for instance, the mighty shekel. Its value rose 2.5% relative to the dollar in 2016, even though the soaring dollar itself is by some measures at the highest since 1986. The shekel-euro exchange rate is at a 14-year high, and shekel-pound sterling gained 18% in 2016 as the British currency plummeted following Brexit.

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