Last week, our friends at the Israel Ministry of Finance in NYC published the Winter 2016 edition of SHEKEL, their quarterly economic newsletter. SHEKEL is edited by Avi Braf, chief of the finance mission, Beth Belkin, Director of Communications, and the staff of the Israel Economic/ Finance Mission in NYC. A few tidbits about the Israeli economy from this recent issue that caught our attention:
- Israel's growth continued to outpace that of the OECD in 2015, as it has done more than a decade.
- Israel's debt-to-GDP ration declined from 66.9 percent in 2014 to 64.9 percent in 2015.
- The labor force participation rate in Israel in 2015 was at an all-time high of 64.5 percent; unemployment fell to 5.2 percent.
- Israel's budget deficit in 2015 was 2.15 percent, well below the limit of 2.9 percent that the government had set for itself.
- Israel has been a pioneer in the rise of Fintech companies and continues to develop into a hub for international financial institutions in search of innovative solutions.
- KamaTech discusses its strategy for integrating more ultra-Orthodox Israelis into the high tech sector, with more than 4,000 currently benefiting from its activities.
- Seeking creative and entrepreneurial talent, as well as diverse language skills, CGS turned to Israel.