Video #26:Israel’s economy – an island of stability
YouTube 6-minute-video on-line seminar on US-Israel and the Mideast, November 25, 2016
1. 86 Israeli companies are traded on NASDAQ, the third country following the USA and China.
2. According to the World Bank, Israel’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) surged from $3BN in 1960 and $132BN in 2000 to $296BN in 2015, and Israel’s GDP per capita almost tripled from $13,500 to $35,500. During the 2009-2015 global economic crisis, Israel experienced a 42% surge of GDP – without a stimulus package - compared to the Euro Bloc’s decline of 10.5% and the OECD’s 9.5% increase.
3. Israel’s government debt/GDP ratio - the Achilles’ heel of most countries – has been reduced from 100% in 2002 to 63.9% in 2016, compared with the Euro Bloc’s 90.7% and the OECD’s 94%.
4. Israel’s foreign exchange reserves – which are critical to sustaining global confidence in Israel’s economy and Israel’s capabilities during emergencies – soared from $25BN in 2004 to $90BN in 2016. The Global Finance Magazine ranks Israel’s Central Bank among the top nine central banks in the world.
5. In 2016, the three leading global credit rating companies express confidence in the long-term viability of Israel’s economy. Standard & Poor sustained an A+ rating with stable outlook, Fitch upgraded Israel’s credit rating outlook to “positive,” while retaining its’ A rating, and Moody’s sustained an A1 rating with stable outlook.
6. The International Monetary Fund’s latest report on Israel (September, 2015) “welcomes Israel’s strong economic performance and the favorable near-term outlook.”
7. From the 450% galloping inflation of 1984, Israel manages to hold inflation in check – around zero, while the budget deficit and unemployment are 2% (of GDP) and 5% respectively, significantly lower than the OECD average of 7% and 8%. Israel’s labor-force participation rate is expanding (77%).
8. Israel’s economy has expanded by 180% over the past 20 years, while the population (8.4mn) has grown by 45%.
9. According to the British Economist Intelligence Unit (June 2, 2016): "Israel is bucking the global trend…. [Global] fundraising by start-ups was down by more than one third in the first quarter of 2016 from its peak in the third quarter of 2015…. However, fundraising by Israeli startups increased in the final quarter of 2015… [it is] on track to meet, or exceed, its first-quarter-2016 total of $1BN, in the second quarter of 2016…. One reason is the flow of Chinese capital into Israel, most of which is aimed at longer-term investment as a means of gaining access to Israeli technology…."
10. The Shanghai Jiaotong University’s Academic Ranking of World Universities - one of 3 most influential rankings – includes two Israeli universities among the top twenty computer science universities in the world: sixteen from the US, two from Israel, one each from Canada and Switzerland.
11. The Swiss-based World Economic Forum claims that Israel dedicates 4.21% of its GDP to research and development, the
highest proportion in the world, ahead of South Korea (4.15%), Japan (3.49%), Finland (3.32%), Sweden (3.3%), Taiwan (3.12%), Germany (2.94%), the US (2.81%) and the OECD (2.4%).
12. In the face of scarce resources and unique military and economic challenges, Israel is a global leader in innovation, including engineering-manpower per capita: 140 Israelis per 10,000, ahead of the USA with 85 per 10,000. Both are ahead of the rest of the world. The USA and Israel are global co-leaders in the areas of research, development, manufacturing and launching of mini, small and medium-size space satellites, the two of only 8 countries launching space satellites.
13. Israel’s demography bodes well for the future of its economy and national security. Israel’s population is the youngest in the OECD – median age 31 (OECD – 42), featuring the highest fertility rate (over 3 births per woman), including an unprecedented surge in secular fertility.
14. In hindsight, the scarcity of resources, and the ongoing wars and terrorism, have been just bumps on the road to unprecedented economic and technological growth.
15. The next video will highlight Israel’s unprecedented integration into the global economy