GDP Down in 2020, But Could Have Been Worse


In a sign of remarkable resilience, the Israeli Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contracted by only 2.4% in 2020, significantly less than had been forecast.

The shrinking of the economy, as reported by the Central Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday, was attributed to the restrictions and closures imposed on business due to the pandemic.

It was less than the Bank of Israel’s forecast of 3.7% and well below the Euro-bloc where the economy lost 5%.

The economy actually grew 6.3% in the fourth quarter of 2020, fueled by an 18.2% rise in private consumption, a 66.1% rise in investments in fixed assets, and 26% rise in public expenditure. However, the economy fell 0.4% in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared with the corresponding quarter of 2019.

The BOI’s outlook for 2021 was optimistic, with as much as 6.3% growth, assuming the country’s vaccination drive is successful.

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