Israel’s Impressive Economic Growth

Straight from the Jerusalem Boardroom #145, August 19, 2010

1.  Israel economic growth unexpectedly accelerated to an annualized 4.7% in the 2nd quarter of 2010 [compared with 4.1% in the Euro Bloc, 2.4% - USA and 0.4% - Japan]. It is the fastest pace in more than two years, as exports [19% industrial exports surge in the 2nd quarter] and consumer spending [8.7% in the 2nd quarter] increased [as well as 11% rise of investment in fixed assets]... rising from 3.6% in the 1st quarter [and 4.3% in the 4th quarter of 2009]…”


“This is really an economy running on all pistons… The Israeli economy’s rebound from the global financial crisis has been powered by exports, which make up almost half of gross domestic product.  Sales abroad increased in July to $3.8BN, the most in two years… Europe’s economy expanded 1% in the 2nd quarter of 2010 from the previous three months… Israel’s unemployment is likely to drop to 7.3% this year, from 7.6% in 2009… Next year, unemployment is likely to decline to 6.8%, according to Israel’s Ministry of Finance…Inflation eased in July to an annual 1.8%, its slowest pace in more than 2.5 years…” (Bloomberg, Aug. 16, 2010).  


2.  Gallup’s Global Wellbeing (life satisfaction) Study of 155 countries (March, 2010) ranks Israel, Switzerland, Canada and Australia as #8/9/10/11 (62%), following Costa Rica (63%), New Zealand (63%), Netherlands & Sweden (68%), Norway (69%), Finland (85%) and Denmark (82%), ahead of the USA (57%), Brazil (58%) and most of Europe. 


3. AT&T is establishing three innovation centers (“Rethinking Possible”) – two in the USA and one in Israel, leveraging Israel’s unique manpower (Globes, July 19, 2010).  A few of Israel’s innovative cutting-edge technologies: Veterix developed an electronic capsule, inserted into the stomach of a cow, sheep, goat, transmitting to farmers’ cellular/e-mail real-time data on the health of the herd. Also, Israeli scientists discovered that brackish water, drilled from a few hundred feet deep desert aquifers could be used to raise warm-water fish.


4.  PriceWaterHouse’s “Money Tree”: a 21% rise in the scope of investments in Israel’s high tech industries during the 2nd quarter of 2010 ($206MN), compared with the 1st quarter and a 27% rise compared with the 2nd quarter of 2009. 


5.  Menlo Ventures led a $15MN round of private placement by Israel’s Xlight.  Spencer Trask Ventures led an $11MN 2nd round by Israel’s Precyse (Globes, Aug. 18).  Sequoia Capital led a $10MN 4th round by Israel’s Kenshoo (Globes, July 29). 


6.  $57.5MN raised on NASDAQ by Israel’s MediaMind (Globes, Aug. 12).  Israel’s D-Medical raised $17.3MN on NASDAQ (Globes, Aug. 10).