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Unemployment in Israel will be 13.8% in 2004
by Hadas Manor in Globes 9:05am Thu Jul 31 '03

The Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Labor predicts 11.4-12% unemployment in 2004, with 25,000-40,000 more unemployed, which is liable to bring the number of jobless to 320,000.
print article

Economic Models Israel: Unemployment will be 13.8% in 2004

Economic Models Israel CEO Yaakov Sheinin: The budget deficit will be only 3.5% of GDP.

Hadas Manor 29 Jul 03 13:11

“The Bank of Israel is not entitled to destroy the country. If thatג€™s what independence means, then it should be abrogated,” Economic Models Israel CEO Yaakov Sheinin said today at a conference of senor Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Labor officials in Jerusalem. The conference deals with economic forecasts and estimates for 2003-2004.
Sheinin added, “The Governor of the Bank of Israel is the governmentג€™s economic advisor. The government should determine economic policy, not he.” Sheinin predicted that under a worst-case scenario, unemployment would reach 13.8% in 2004, and warned, “This will indeed occur if the government continues its current policy.”

The Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Labor predicts 11.4-12% unemployment in 2004, with 25,000-40,000 more unemployed, which is liable to bring the number of jobless to 320,000.

The ministry also forecasts that the average job search time for the unemployed will reach 30 weeks in 2004, and the proportion of hardcore unemployed (those unemployed for over a year) will reach 22% of total unemployment.

Sheinin added that economic policy had cost Israel $90 billion since 1999, a sum almost equal to Israelג€™s total debt. He described the current economic conditions as good, saying that defense spending had declined from 14% of the budget to 7%.

”No commercial company is as conservative as the state. Thereג€™s no inflation. The only thing that could raise prices is a rise in the shekel-dollar exchange rate to NIS 4.80-4.90/$,” Sheinin declared. “The budget deficit isnג€™t as big as the figures theyג€™re using to frighten you. The deficit will be only 3.5% of GDP.”

After his speech, Sheinin told “Globes”, “The Bank of Israelג€™s independence is important, but Governor of the Bank of Israel David Klein must lower the interest rate.”

www.globes.co.il

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