Israel's GDP grows 6.8% in Q2, defying expectations of an economic slowdown
Israel's economy rebounded in the second quarter of 2022, with gross domestic product growing at an annualized 6.8%, led by double-digit gains in exports and consumer spending - contradicting forecasts of a slowdown after a 2.7% contraction earlier this year, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported on August 16, 2022.
Fitch* affirms Israel’s A+ rating with stable outlook
On August 1, Fitch ratings agency reaffirmed Israel’s A+ rating with a stable outlook, noting the country’s economic resilience and an expected reduction of the fiscal deficit of 4.9% by the end of this year from 2021. Fitch also stated “Israel's 'A+' rating balances a diversified, resilient and high value-added economy, strong external finances and solid institutional strength,” adding “Israel's reliance on domestic gas production provides some insulation from the global commodity price shock and demand for its export products remains strong.” Additionally, Fitch noted investment in the high-tech sector to remain robust, highlighting, “We project foreign exchange reserves to reach USD215 billion at end-2022…and Israel's net external creditor position to continue to improve to about 49% of GDP.” (*Israel bonds are not rated.)
Standard & Poor's (S&P) affirms Israel’s AA- rating, citing resilient economy despite security risks
Standard and Poor’s (S&P*), global credit rating agency, has kept Israel’s favorable rating unchanged at AA- with a “stable” outlook, the Finance Ministry stated May 14, 2022, citing the company’s announcement released on May 12. S&P said it expects the Israeli economy to grow at a rate of 5.5% in 2022, following growth of over 8% in 2021, which surpassed forecasts and marked the highest financial growth rate recorded in Israel in 21 years, according to data published in February 2022 by the Central Bureau of Statistics.
The agency cited Israel’s strong economic performance in the past year, a robust economy, and fiscal outturns that helped “net general government debt fall below its pre-pandemic level more quickly,” it highlighted in the announcement. S&P noted Israel’s positive fiscal performance and a strong tech sector, which make up a resilient economy. (*Israel bonds are not rated.)
Fitch* affirms Israel’s A+ rating, citing strong 2021 economic performance.
On February 16, Fitch ratings agency reaffirmed Israel’s A+ rating with a stable outlook, noting the country’s strong economic performance and a reduction of the fiscal deficit in 2021. Fitch also stated Israel’s economy rebounded strongly “by about 6.5% in 2021 due to the removal of COVID-19-related restrictions and a strong rise in private consumption.” Additionally, on February 16 Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics said Israel’s economy grew by 8.1% in 2021, surpassing previous forecasts and marking the highest financial growth rate recorded in Israel in 21 years. According to CBS data, the fourth fiscal quarter of 2021 saw a staggering 16.6% growth in GDP, bringing the yearly average to 8.1%, the highest since 2000, when Israel’s growth rate stood at 8.4%. (*Israel bonds are not rated.)
Fitch* commends Israel’s budget approval, stating Israel’s financial position benefited this year from its strong economic rebound, the gradual removal of pandemic restrictions, and particularly strong fiscal revenues from the hi-tech sector.
The ratings agency issued a statement on November 11, noting that the budget “reduces political uncertainty and potential risks to the public finances, affirming the government’s capacity to advance legislation... in line with our expectations when we affirmed the sovereign rating at ‘A+’ with a Stable Outlook in July 2021.” Israel also currently has a Stable AA- rating from S&P Global Ratings, and a Stable A1 rating from Moody’s. Take part in the 70-year legacy of achievement of Israel Bonds by investing online at israelbonds.com. (*Israel bonds are not rated.)
Israel's economic resilience praised
Israel Bonds, founded 70 years ago to strengthen Israel’s economy, proudly notes the latest assessment of Israel from Fitch Ratings*, which, in its July 29 report, observed, “The economy has been more resilient to the pandemic shock than many rating peers, reflecting the strong performance of high-tech industries and the early and fast progress in vaccination.” The word “resilient” appears numerous times throughout the assessment, highlighting the fact that Israel’s economy is well-positioned to perpetuate its positive momentum. Become a stakeholder in Israel’s economy – invest online at israelbonds.com. (*Israel bonds are not rated)
Moody’s affirms ‘stable’ outlook for Israel despite Hamas conflicts
In a May 19 report, Moody’s* affirmed Israel’s ‘stable’ outlook, stating, “Given the long-standing resilience of the Israeli economy to geopolitical developments, we expect the heightened conflict to have only a modest impact on the country’s economic recovery from the pandemic and on the government’s near-term fiscal metrics.” The report added, referencing Israel bonds, “Israel's deep and highly developed domestic market as well as exceptional access to external markets – also through an active diaspora bond programme – will support debt affordability.” (*Israel bonds are not rated.)
Standard & Poor’s (S&P) affirms Israel’s ‘stable’ outlook and strong credit rating
In a May 14 report, Global ratings agency S&P* affirmed its long-term sovereign credit rating on Israel at “AA-/A-1+” and maintained its outlook at “stable,” despite security and political risks escalating sharply in the last few days. The report added, “The combination of a very effective and swift COVID-19 vaccination campaign, strong technology sector performance and rising gas exports should still underpin the country’s GDP growth of 5% in 2021.” (*Israel bonds are not rated.)
Standard & Poor's (S&P) maintains Israel’s strong AA- credit rating, despite the global COVID-19 pandemic’s effects
Standard and Poor’s (S&P*), the global credit rating company, has kept Israel’s credit rating unchanged at its high AA- level with a stable outlook, despite the COVID-19 crisis that the country is experiencing, the company announced March 30, 2021.
The agency also said it expects growth to recover soon and lauded Israel for having sound debt policy, which it said continues to justify its rating of AA-/Stable/A-1+. (*Israel bonds are not rated.)
Moody's affirms Israel's 'stable' outlook
In a December 4 overview of Israel's economy, Moody's* affirmed its 'stable' outlook, noting its assessment "reflects (Israel's) robust growth potential, strong external position and highly credible institutions, which will support the credit profile through the coronavirus shock." The report projected "a strong economic recovery in 2021." (*Israel bonds are not rated.)
Standard & Poor's (S&P) affirms Israel's strong credit rating, despite the effects of the pandemic on its economy
In its assessment published on November 13, 2020, S&P*, provider of independent credit ratings, affirmed Israel’s position at a relatively high AA- rating, with a stable outlook, despite the major effects of the coronavirus pandemic on its economy. The agency cited Israel’s robust economy, flexible monetary policy, relatively strong pool of local savings, and access to domestic and international capital markets as reasons for its determination, as reported by The Times of Israel on November 14. The firm also noted the normalization agreements Israel signed with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, which it said could lead to economic cooperation, increased commerce and better security for the three countries. (*Israel bonds are not rated.)
Moody's maintains Israel's high A1 ranking, despite pandemic crisis
The international ratings agency announced on October 24, 2020 that Israel will maintain its A1 credit ranking, despite the economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. This stands as an encouraging achievement given that credit ratings have been reduced for around 40 countries in recent months. (Israel bonds are not rated.)
Standard & Poor's (S&P) has affirmed its long- and short-term sovereign ratings on Israel at ‘AA-/A-1+,’ with a ‘stable’ outlook
In its May 15, 2020 assessment, S&P* praised Israel's wealthy and resilient economy heading into the COVID-19 pandemic, swift policy actions to mitigate the crisis, and capacity for Israel to absorb the shock. All of which, along with the high-tech sector, sets up the economy well for a strong and early recovery. Highlighting how Israel stands apart is the fact that as of May 11, S&P had downgraded 20 percent of the countries it reviewed and put another 15 percent on negative outlook. (*Israel bonds are not rated.)
Moody's affirms Israel's 'A1' rating, revises outlook to 'stable,' references “exceptional access to external funding,” which includes Israel bonds
While many economies are being downgraded, Moody’s* expressed confidence in Israel, stating, "The affirmation of the A1 rating reflects Israel's robust medium-term growth potential, strong external position and highly credible institutions, which Moody's expects will help its credit profile to withstand the impact of the severe but temporary crisis arising from the coronavirus outbreak." In the April 24, 2020 assessment, Moody’s also observed, “Israel's economy has demonstrated resilience to a range of domestic and external shocks, supported by its highly competitive tech sector which benefits from the country's strong capacity for innovation, while the start of production from the Leviathan gas fields at the end of 2019 will, over time, further enhance the country's already favorable external position.” A particular point of pride is Moody’s reference to “exceptional access to external funding,” which includes Israel bonds. (*Israel bonds are not rated.)
Fitch affirms Israel at 'A+' with an outlook of ‘stable,’ citing, among other factors, "an active Diaspora bond program (Israel Bonds)"
As countries grapple with economic repercussions from the coronavirus pandemic, Israel remains well-positioned to stabilize its economy. According to an April 23, 2020 assessment from global ratings agency Fitch*, “We project a rebound in 2021, with GDP growing by 5%.” In observing that “features of public debt are largely favorable,” Fitch cited, among other factors, “an active Diaspora bond program (Israel Bonds)” in affirming its long-term foreign currency issuer default rating at 'A+' with an outlook of ‘stable.’ The Bonds legacy of partnership was recently reiterated through its commitment to the Finance Ministry to help strengthen the economy in this challenging time. (*Israel bonds are not rated.)
Boston-based private equity firm acquires Israel-rooted Forescout Technologies Inc. in $1.9 billion deal
Founded in Israel two decades ago, the California-headquartered cyber company with a research and development center in Tel Aviv, develops and markets software for monitoring organizational networks that carry multiple devices, and employs over 1,100 people worldwide, 250 of which are in the Jewish state. The acquisition by Advent International Corp. was reported in CTech by Calcalist on February 6, 2020.
Standard & Poor’s reaffirms Israel’s credit rating at 'AA-,' predicting that “Israel’s diversified and resilient economy will expand by an annual average of 3%” until 2023
Standard & Poor’s* (S&P) pointed to the nation’s strong employment market, operational kickoff at Israel’s largest gas field Leviathan, and the country’s gas exports for the favorable projection, according to reports published by The Algemeiner on February 2, 2020. (*Israel bonds are not rated.)
Israel raises $3 billion in record US dollar bond* issue, with demand reaching an all-time high of $20 billion
On January 8, 2020, the government sold $2 billion of 30-year US-denominated bonds* at 3.375%, or 115 basis points over comparable US treasuries, and another $1 billion of 10-year bonds* at 2.5%, or 68 basis points over treasuries — the lowest-ever spreads for an Israeli international debt offering, The Jerusalem Post reported. Demand for the issues attracted more than 400 different investors from 40 countries, including the United States, Britain and Germany, as well as from Asian institutional investors in Japan and Hong Kong. Central banks, pension funds, insurance companies and other entities that already hold Israeli securities were amid the buyers. Accountant General Rony Hizkiyahu concluded that Israel is well established in global financial markets and that the results are a reflection of confidence in the nation's economy and its bonds* among the world's top investors, adding, “The level of issuance and the low cost achieved will constitute an important element in financing the government’s activities in the coming year.”
*The bonds sold as part of this offering are not those offered by Development Corporation for Israel; different purchase requirements and rules apply.
Israel joins the FTSE World Government Bond Index (WGBI)
Following its credit upgrade last year by S&P*, and after a decade of financial improvement and fiscal prudence, on September 26, 2019, FTSE Russell announced the inclusion of Israel's local currency, fixed-rate debt to the WGBI list of index countries. The highly-followed WGBI, in existence for more than 30 years, tracks the performance of fixed-rate, local currency, investment-grade sovereign bonds from more than 20 countries and covers more than $20 trillion of debt. Israel’s Accountant General Rony Hizkiyahu stated, “Israel's inclusion into this prestigious index is a testament to the strength and stability of the capital markets in Israel and the optimal debt management polices over the years,” according to the FTSE WGBI press release. (*Israel bonds are not rated.)
Israel's economy grew 3.6% in the first half of 2019
Israel’s economy rose by 3.6% in the first half of 2019, according to Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics’ second estimate of national accounts data. The half yearly growth figure, a strong indicator of the Jewish state's economy, compares with 2.8% in the second half of 2018 and 3.5% in the first half of 2018, Globes reported on September 16, 2019.
Fitch affirms Israel at 'A+' with an outlook of ‘stable’
Fitch Ratings* affirmed Israel’s long-term foreign currency issuer default rating* at ‘A+’ with an outlook of ‘stable’ on August 29, 2019. Fitch underscored that, “Israel benefits from high financing flexibility, having deep and liquid local markets, good access to international capital markets, an active diaspora bond program (italics added), and US government guarantees in the event of market disruption.” The Bonds organization is exceptionally proud to acknowledge Fitch’s reference to “an active diaspora bond program” factoring into its assessment. Bonds President & CEO Israel Maimon stated, “Our unwavering mission to elevate the Bonds enterprise and strengthen Israel’s economy continues to be recognized, and our leadership and staff remain truly grateful to be a part of this achievement, in which the organization to date has provided Israel with over $43 billion in global sales.” (*Israel bonds are not rated.)
Standard & Poor’s affirms Israel’s AA- credit rating with a stable outlook, calling the nation's economy “diversified, competitive, and resilient”
Standard & Poor’s* (S&P) reaffirmed Israel’s credit rating at AA- with a stable outlook, according to reports by Calcalist published on August 2, 2019. S&P noted the nation’s historically low unemployment rates and continuously growing economy, calling it “diversified, competitive, and resilient,” predicting it will increase even more annually by 3% on average until 2022. The country has not faced recession in the last 15 years, the report went on to say, and its gross domestic product (GDP) has increased by 60% since 2010. (*Israel bonds are not rated.)
Israeli high-tech companies raise record amount in first half of 2019
In an all-time high, Israeli high-tech companies raised $3.9 billion in the first half of 2019 with 254 deals. Continuing the success, IVC Research Center findings showed a record-setting second quarter achievement of $2.32 billion, boosted by 10 mega-deals. Adv. Shmulik Zysman, managing partner & high-tech industry leader ZAG/Sullivan stated, “Just when we thought the investment growth in the first quarter of 2019 had broken every record, along came the second quarter and registered the most significant leap in the total amount raised in the last six years,” The Jerusalem Post reported on July 18, 2019.
Israeli-founded companies are making a substantial impact on New York’s economy
New York-Israel Business Alliance noted that Israeli-founded companies are making a substantial impact on New York’s economy – driving $18.6 billion in revenue last year alone. Factoring in spending on local goods and services, the benefit to New York is estimated at $33.8 billion, representing 2.02 percent of the state’s GDP. Between 2014-2016, Israeli companies secured $3.5 billion in venture capital funding and were responsible for more than 20 percent of the total capital raised in New York State in 2016. These Israeli-based companies, over 500 according to the data, employ nearly 25,000 New Yorkers and indirectly employ over 25,000 more when accounting for additional demand for local goods and service. “New York has become the hub where Israelis are transforming Start Up Nation into Scale-Up Nation,” New York-Israel Business Alliance founder Aaron Kaplowitz tells NoCamels reported on July 25, 2019.
Israel’s economy expanded at its fastest pace since 2016
Bloomberg reported on May 17, 2019 that Israel’s economy expanded at its fastest pace in three years last quarter, far exceeding all analyst forecasts. GDP rose 5.2% from the previous quarter, surpassing every estimate in Bloomberg’s survey of six economists, whose median was 3.1%. “The breakdown was very positive, so you’re running on all pistons,” said Leader Capital Markets Ltd. economist Jonathan Katz. “The Bank of Israel will now have to say that in Israel there are signs of growth above potential.”
Candy giant Mars and Jerusalem Venture Partners are teaming up to build a food tech research hub In Israel
Mars, the $35 billion maker of M&Ms, Snickers and Iams pet food, and Jerusalem Venture Partners are creating a research and development center in Israel dedicated to scaling and commercializing tech solutions that touch any aspect of the global food system, from farming to nutrition. The research center – the first Mars has opened in Israel - will give funds to Israeli startups and work with academic researchers at institutions, such as the Hebrew University, the Weizmann Institute, the Technion, Migall and Tel Hai College, Forbes reported on May 15, 2019.
Fitch affirms Israel at 'A+' with an outlook of 'stable'
Fitch Ratings* affirmed Israel's long-term foreign currency issuer default rating* at 'A+' with an outlook of ‘stable’ on March 25, 2019. The Bonds organization takes special pride in Fitch’s reference to “an active diaspora bond program” factoring into its assessment. Bonds President & CEO Israel Maimon said, “Our dedicated leadership and staff at every level are gratified to be a part of Israel’s economic resilience, and we will continue to build on a legacy that, since 1951, has provided Israel with over $42 billion in worldwide sales.” (*Israel bonds are not rated.)
Standard & Poor’s affirms Israel’s AA- credit rating - the highest rating the Jewish state has ever received
The credit scoring agency sites the nation’s prosperous and diverse economy, external balance sheet and flexible monetary policy framework as reasons for the confirmation, reported by The Jerusalem Post on February 4, 2019. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed "another achievement for the Israeli economy," following S&P's* affirmation of the credit rating* first received in August 2018 as a "very strong expression of confidence" in the country. Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon called the announcement "further proof of the strength of the Israeli economy and its global status." (*Israel bonds are not rated.)
Amazon finalizes deal to buy Israeli startup CloudEndure for $200 million
CloudEndure, which provides business continuity software solutions for disaster recovery, is not the first or the biggest Israeli acquisition by the e-commerce giant. In 2015, Amazon acquired Annapurna Labs for $360 million, which became the center for developing chips used by Amazon Web Services, its cloud-computing unit. Additionally, Amazon also has a smaller research and development unit in Israel working on its cashierless supermarkets, as well as another group working on computer vision for smart speakers. This most recent deal in Amazon’s storied past with Israel has been finalized in January 2019 and is expected to be promptly announced, according to Haaretz.
U.S.-Israel fund to invest $7.3 million in new joint innovation projects
The Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation approved funding of eight new projects in January 2019 to be jointly developed by U.S. and Israeli companies, according to The Times of Israel. New investments will include educational and agricultural technology, energy, digital health, medical devices, and homeland security. “It’s satisfying to see how varied are the projects submitted to the BIRD Foundation with diversity in sectors, size of U.S. companies and their geographical location, enhancing BIRD’s impact, for mutual benefit of the U.S. and Israel,” said Phillip Singerman, associate director for Innovation and Industry Services at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology and co-chairman of BIRD’s board of governors, following the announcement.
Israel is outperforming Europe and the OECD with accelerating growth
The nation's gross domestic product has been rising at an average annual rate of 3.69 percent since 2000, inflation has been negligible at 1.57 percent, and unemployment has fallen to half of its average for the period of 7.4 percent.
With a population of 8.4 million people, the Jewish state has outperformed its European counterparts. Israel’s GDP growth of 69 percent, since being upgraded it to developed-market status in 2009, is more than 17 times what Austria accomplished and almost three times what Switzerland achieved, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and highlighted in an op-ed entitled 'Israel’s Economy Is Too Strong to Argue About' on January 24, 2019.
Israel ranked as world’s fifth-most innovative economy in the 2019 Bloomberg Innovation Index
The Jewish state moved up five spots from last year and surpassed Singapore, Sweden and Japan in the process. After the index was published on January 22, 2019, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted, "Israel is a rising global power!"
The Government of Israel raised a record €2.5 billion ($2.88b.) - its largest ever - in the global debt capital markets
On January 9, 2019, peak demand for the bonds was worth about €15 billion ($17.3b.), the most for a euro-denominated issuance. Over 300 investors from 30 countries, including Great Britain, Germany and France, participated in the groundbreaking deal. Consequently, Israel became the first nation in 2019 to announce a mandate for a euro-denominated issuance. Following the trailblazing circulation, Accountant General Rony Hizkiyahu said, “The long bonds – a set for 10 years and a set for 30 years issued for the first time in euros – attests to the confidence of foreign investors in the Israeli economy.” Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon added, “The Israeli economy is enjoying excellent years of high growth, full employment and a low debt-to-GDP ratio,” The Jerusalem Post reported.
View the most recent Government of Israel Ministry of Finance Office of the Accountant General Investor Newsletter here for informational purposes only. (The information contained herein has not been approved by Development Corporation for Israel nor does Development Corporation for Israel make any representations as to its accuracy. Development Corporation for Israel is not acting as underwriters, advisors or consultants to the entities referenced herein and has not done any analysis of their financial conditions or prospects. We encourage you to engage your lawyers, accountants and business advisors before you make any investments.)