IMF officials arrive to prepare report

Statistics bureau: Exports drop 12.7% in August-October, down 35% to US; economy grew 3.8% in third quarter, down from 4.5% in second quarter.

bank of israel 248.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
bank of israel 248.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Visiting International Monetary Fund representatives met Wednesday with Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and Bank of Israel officials to compile their annual review on the Israeli economy.
“We presented the two-year budget 2011-2012 and its comprehensive economic plans, which are tailored to strengthen the Israeli economy as it emerges out of the global economic crisis and to accelerate growth while also narrowing social gaps,” Steinitz said. “The talks are being held as the economy grew at a rate of 3.8 percent in the third quarter, beating previous estimates.”
The findings of annual IMF country report attract great interest in money markets around the world and affect the credit rating of the economy and investment banks’ recommendations regarding investment in Israel.
The economy grew at an annualized 3.8% in the third quarter, down from 4.5% in the second quarter, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported Tuesday. Growth was helped by strong domestic demand but suffered from a sharp decline in exports as Israel’s main export destinations in the US and Europe are still struggling to recover from the global recession.
Exports of goods, not including diamonds, fell an annualized 12.7% in the August- October period, following a decline of 8.6% in May-July, the statistics bureau reported Wednesday.
Exports of goods to the US dropped 35% in August- October, after declining 14.9% in May-July. Exports of goods to Europe decreased 2.3% in August-October, after dropping 1.8% in May-July. Since the beginning of the year, the countries with the sharpest fall in exports from Israel were Ireland, Denmark and Greece.
Exports of goods to Asian countries declined 10.6% in August-October, after dropping 16.3% in May-July.
The IMF mission, which began talks in Israel on Wednesday, consists of four economists and is headed by Peter Doyle, the European Department’s division chief.
As in previous years, the mission will meet with leading figures in Israel’s economy in both the public and business sectors, including the Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer and other central-bank officials, Israel Securities Authority chairman Zohar Goshen, senior Finance Ministry officials, senior officials from other government ministries, banks, the Israel Manufacturers Association and the Histadrut Labor Federation, and academics.
The mission will present its preliminary report to Steinitz and Fischer on November 29 at the conclusion of its visit. The detailed annual report will then be compiled in Washington and presented to the IMF’s executive board.