Fisher: State of economy 'surprisingly good'

Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fisher said on Thursday that even he has trouble understanding his monthly bank statement. "It is not clear to me why bank statements are such that they cannot be understood by anyone," Fisher said to reporters at a banking union convention the Sheraton Moriah hotel in Tel Aviv. Despite the confusing statements, Fisher painted a rosy picture of the current state of Israel's economy. "The Israeli economy is currently doing well and the market is experiencing accelerated growth," Fisher said. "The market is expected to grow at an rate of 4.8%, which is hard to believe considering that there was a war this year that had a negative influence on growth in the third quarter." "The inflation in 2006 was low, even lower than government targets and currently stands at 1% - 3%." Fisher said. He added that he expected the inflation rate to gradually return to historically normal levels. Fisher continued to stress that in order to promote healthy economic growth, competition between banks had to be encouraged, and described this competition as "one of the most important goals of the Bank of Israel."