Three months after downgrading Israel’s 2012 growth forecast to 2.8% the Bank of Israel announced Monday that it was revising it yet again, this time to 3.1%.
The Bank also published its first growth forecast for 2013, saying the Israeli market is likely to add 3.5%.
The Bank’s forecast now parallels that of the Treasury, which predicted 3.2% growth in 2012. Still, both projections are slightly higher than those put forward by the OECD, which stands at 2.9%.
According to the abstract, presented by the Bank’s Research Department, macroeconomic developments will see the inflation rate over the next four quarters arrive at 2.6%.
The Bank of Israel further predicted that interest rate in Q1-2013 is expected to be 2.5%, and that Israel’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to grow by 3.1% in 2012 and by 3.5% in 2013.
However, the Bank further predicts that unemployment in 2012 will reach 5.8%, and that it will note a slight decrease to 5.7% in 2013.
Facebook is currently the second-most used site in Israel, behind Google.
The company feels that opening a local advertising department will significantly increase the purchase of Facebook ads in Israel.
Representatives from Facebook headquarters have visited Israel in the past few weeks to meet with prominent advertisers as well as companies that develop leading applications for the online social network.
The Facebook representatives, who visited employees at Google’s Israel office, were also looking to hire marketing and sales people.
Until now, Facebook’s media sales in Israel were managed by Nana10 for premium clients, i.e. advertisers with extensive budgets.
The Bezeq telecommunications group, in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor launched a new call center on Monday inside a mosque located in the Bedouin village of Hura.
The call center, which provides assistance to Internet customers, was proposed by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor and JDC-Israel as part of the effort to combat female unemployment in the Negev community.
The center is managed and operated by 50 Bedouin women, but it is expected to employ more women in the future. It offers assistance in Hebrew, Arabic and Russian.
The call center provides a solution for Hura’s female residents, who wanted to enter the job market without having to work outside the community.
The women were trained at the Rayan employment center in preparation for Bezeq’s entry exams.
There are roughly 1.5 million Arabs in Israel (about 20% of the general population), but statistics reveal that only 25% of Arab women who are of working age (20-64) are currently employed. The employment rate among Arab men is similar to the employment rate among Jewish men, but their average salary is significantly lower.
“Integrating the Negev’s Bedouin population into the workforce is a national goal of the highest importance,” said Shalom Simhon, Minister of Industry, Trade, and Labor. “We hope this initiative will encourage other companies to launch such calls centers in Bedouin communities.”
Hura Council head Mohamed al-Nabari said the call center offers Bedouin women a “real and equal opportunity” while taking “cultural nuances” into consideration
A film aiming to change Israel’s image around the world will premiere on Independence Day, Israel’s 64th birthday, in 64 communities worldwide, the film’s producers announced at a Jerusalem press conference this week.
The film aims to follow up on the success of Start-Up Nation, the best-selling book by Dan Senor and former Jerusalem Post editorial editor Saul Singer, which has been translated into Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Portuguese, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Turkish.
Titled Israel Inside: How a Small Nation Makes a Big Difference, the 55-minute documentary attempts to portray an often unreported side of Israel to the world. The film is narrated by Dr. Tal Ben- Shahar, a best-selling author and former Harvard professor who taught a popular Harvard course on positive psychology.
In the film, Ben-Shahar examines the core character strengths that have enabled Israelis to overcome challenges and turn a desert into a flourishing nation. It focuses on Israel beyond conflict and national security, themes most often associated with the country’s identity.
“By shifting the conversation and highlighting the strength and resilience of the Jewish people in the face of adversity, there is a hope that it may help in dealing with the conflict,” Ben-Shahar said.
At the press conference he said the film was about addressing misconceptions many people have about the Jewish state.
“While I think about Israel as a country characterized by technology, and prosperity, they think about camels, war, felafel,” he said. “The film is about changing the conversation and changing that idea. We have a lot to celebrate as a nation, so the film was made to highlight those aspects and to change the focus people have about the country.”
Ben-Shahar is joined onscreen by Harvard Prof. Alan Dershowitz and leading Israeli entrepreneurs, businessmen and political figures, including Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Better Place’s Shai Agassi, venture capitalist Jonathan Medved, and Teva’s Eli Hurvitz who died in November.
Raphael Shore of JerusalemOnlineU, an online portal for Israel and Jewish distance learning that utilizes film-based education programs, produced the film. Shore wrote and produced the documentary films on radical Islam and the Middle East.
Shore’s wife, Rebecca, was the head writer for Israel Inside.
“The film aims to take ‘Start-Up Nation’ further and delve deeper into the essence of what makes Israelis on an individual level do what we do to thrive,” Rebecca Shore said.
1. Israel’s economic growth during the last five years (21%) is higher than all OECD countries, other than Turkey. Israel’s economy grew 270% during the last 20 years, while Israel’s population grew 145%. Israel’s unemployment is the lowest ever – 5.4%. The strength of Israel’s exports is derived from its multitude of companies, diversified technologies and products, reaching diversified markets, cutting edge technologies, focusing on essential products (medical, telecommunications, Internet, water technologies, energy alternatives, homeland security, defense), preferring high tech over raw material, expanding joint ventures with global giants, bolstering research & development (world leader in percentage of GDP). Israel is expected to become a net-exporter of natural gas by2018. Israel’s economy receives a tailwind from an annual Aliya (Jewish immigration), reduced emigration, accelerated return by expatriates, an expanding young population (especially due to rising fertility rate of the secular sector), a growing integration of the ultra-orthodox community in Israel’s workforce and military service and a potential of a dramatic wave of Aliya due to economic, political, security and social circumstances in the former USSR, France, England, Argentina and the USA (Adam Reuter, Financial Immunities, March 14, 2012).
2. Intel’s exports from Israel – $2.2BN in 2011. Since 1999, Intel’s exports from Israel total $22.5BN (Globes Business Daily, March 19). Intel employs 7,800 persons in Israel – 10% of Intel’s global manpower. 700 were hired in 2011, projecting 600 more in 2012. Abbott Laboratories – which acquired Israel’s SrarLims in 2010 – concluded a 3-year cooperation agreement with Israel’s Weizmann Institute (Glboes, February 7).
3. Credit Suisse reported a 5.35% holding in Israel’s $12BN CheckPoint – $643MN (Globes, February 10). Virginia-based Tamro Capital Partners and San Francisco-based Parnassus Investments announced a 5.9% and a5.7% holding in Israel’s Ceragon – $18MN and $17MN respectively (Globes, February 10). The NJ-based Avaya acquired Israel’s RadVision for $230MN (Globes, March 16). The $21BN Broadcom acquired Israel’s BroadLight for $200MN- Broadcom’s 10th acquisition of an Israeli company in 10 years (5th since 2009), leveraging the top quality Israeli human resource: innovations, which are transformed into cutting-edge technologies, manufacturing lines and exports. Broadcom has intensified its Israel operations during the last two years (Globes, March 21, 2012). Goldman Sachs acquired 10% of Israel’s Viola Group fro $200MN (Globes, February 22). The NYC-based W Capital Partners acquired, from Yozma VC Fund, 3% of Israel/US Conduit for $39MN (March 19).
4. San Francisco-based Koshla Ventures and Burrill & Co. and Menlo Park-based Triple Point led a $30MN round by Israel’s HCL-Virdia (Globes, March 8). France Télécom, the French Publicis Groupe and Iris Capital co-led a $15MN round of private placement by Israel’s MyThings, joined by Silicon Valley’s Accel Partners and Deutsche Telecom investment arm T-Venture (Globes, March 21). The Boston-based Spark Capital led a $15MN round by Israel’s eToro (Globes, March 14). A West Coast investment bank led a $13MN round by Israel’s Vascular Dynamics (Globes, March 8).
5. 2011 mergers & acquisitions of 85 Israeli high tech companies (27% increase over 2010) – $5.1BN, the highest sum in 10 years, except the 2006 bubble ($11BN).
Source: Ettinger Report
Israel’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) added 4.7% in 2011, following an increase of 4.8% in 2010 and 0.8% in 2009, the Central Bureau of Statistics said Thursday.
According to CBS data, gross domestic product per capita rose by 2.8%, following a 2.9% rise in 2010 and a 0.9% drop in 2009.
The business sector’s GDP added 5.2% in 2011, following a 5.8% increase in 2010 and a 0.3% addition in 2009. The industrial sector’s GDP rose by 1.9% in 2011, following a 9.7% increase in 2010 and a 5.1% tumble in 2009.
CBS data further suggested that private consumption in Israel was up by 3.6% in 2011, expendable income per capita added 1.4% and private savings came to 11%.
Israel’s national deficit came to NIS 17.2 billion ($4.54 billion) in 2011, making up 20% of the GDP. In 2010, Israel’s national deficit was NIS 17.7 billion ($4.68 billion), making up 2.2% of the GDP.
Israel’s fixed-price exports added 4.9% in 2011, while fixed-price imports were up by 10.6%.
Purchasing power parity (PPP) made up 85% of the gross domestic product per capita in the OECD states.