Israel’s economy grew 8.1% last year, well above all forecasts
‘Our policy has allowed us to break records,’ says Israeli Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman
Israel’s economy grew 8.1% last year, the Central Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday, well above the Bank of Israel’s forecast of 6.5% and a sharp rebound from a contraction of 2.2% in 2020.
According to the data, the fourth fiscal quarter of 2021 saw GDP growth of 16.6%, bringing the annual average to 8.1%, the highest since 2000, when Israel’s growth rate stood at 8.4%.
Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman was quick to take credit for the numbers, touting the government’s policy of keeping Israel’s economy as open as possible during the pandemic.
“The policy I promoted of ‘living with coronavirus’ without lockdown, without unpaid leave and taking a revolutionary approach [state] budget, allowed us to break records and exceed all forecasts – which led the State of Israel to the number one growth among Western countries,” Lieberman tweeted.
Mathias Cormann, head of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), praised Israel’s handling of the Covid pandemic in comments to government ministers on Sunday.
“Israel’s successful handling of Covid has been one of the most advanced and flexible in the world, allowing the economy to remain fully open during the fourth and fifth waves; the country has been an inspiration to others,” he said.
Cormann said the OECD expects “Israel’s robust economic recovery to continue this year and next.”