Israel withstood the economic crisis of 2008-2009, and has since been steadily increasing. Economic growth was 4.4% in 2013, 3.2% in 2014, 2.5% in 2015 and 4% in 2016. It is estimated that the economy grew by another 3.3% in 2017, and this year (2018) will see a further 3.4% increase. The unemployment rate in Israel is one of the lowest in the world at just 4.2%.
Israel is a member of the OECD, and regularly receives top credit ratings by agencies such as Fitch, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s. Were Israel not dealing with constant security threats, these agencies say, the Jewish state’s credit ratings would be even higher. But the economic picture was very different just 70 years ago. In 1948, Israel had hardly any resources, either natural or financial, and much of what it did have was required by the military to defend the fledgling state against annihilation. During the War of Independence, a large portion of the population was mobilized, meaning very few were working, and after the war Israel had to absorb some 650,000 Jewish refugees, most of whom arrived without a penny to their name. It was...
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