(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Israel’s economy is expected to grow by 3.4 percent per year in 2018 and 2019, a significantly higher rate than growth projections for the U.S. and Europe during those two years, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) stated in a report released Nov. 28.
At the same time, OECD analysts warned of an Israeli housing crisis, saying, “Housing prices continue to climb sharply and the risk of undesirable developments in the housing market, in which banks are heavily involved, remains high.” The report called on the Israeli government to take steps to tame housing prices.
The OECD attributed its growth projections to the development of Israel’s four offshore natural gas fields: Tamar, Leviathan, Tanin and Karish. Other contributing factors are wage increases that support an increase in private consumption as well as relatively low unemployment rates, expected to be 4.4 percent in 2018 and 4.2 percent in 2019.
The report noted that “appropriate fiscal conditions” in Israel “are expected to support domestic demand that will encourage growth.” It recommended increasing government expenditure on health, pensions and education so that “the fruits of growth seep into other segments of the population.”