JERUSALEM, Sept 19 (Reuters) – Israel’s exports rebounded in the second quarter, confirming the economy’s resilience in the face of a global slowdown and dampening the chances of a Bank of Israel rate cut anytime soon.
Exports — which account for more than 40 percent of Israel’s economic activity — jumped 23.3 percent, more than double the initial estimate and a rebound from a small gain in the first quarter.
Annualised gross domestic product growth rose to 3.4 percent in the April-June period, compared with an earlier reported 3.2 percent — which itself had been faster than economists had forecast.
The Central Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday also revised first quarter growth to 3.1 percent from 2.8 percent.
Last week, the bureau estimated full year 2012 growth of 3.5 percent, below the 4.6 percent pace from 2011 but higher than the central bank’s projection of 3.1 percent.
It is also faster than the average for OECD countries, which is forecast at 1.6 percent in 2012, with the crisis-hit euro zone expected to see a slight contraction.
The Bank of Israel has helped to support the economy by lowering its benchmark interest rate to 2.25 percent from 3.25 percent last year. It last made a quarter-point cut in June but has held steady the last two meetings as the economy has grown more than expected and as inflation pressures have risen…Read More>>