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International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department and International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department
This IMF report to the AHLC is the first since September 2018. Following limited engagement over the past three years, policy discussions have intensified in recent months. These discussions have focused mainly on establishing a medium term macro-fiscal framework, including the broad outlines of a reform scenario.
Mr. Serhan Cevik and John Ricco
This paper provides an empirical analysis of how the frequency and severity of terrorism affect government revenue and expenditure during the period 1970–2013 using a panel dataset on 153 countries. We find that terrorism has only a marginal negative effect on tax revenue performance, after controlling for economic and institutional factors. This effect is also not robust to alternative specifications and empirical strategies. On the other hand, we find strong evidence that terrorism is associated with an increase in military spending as a percent of GDP (and a share of total government expenditure). Our estimations reveal that this impact is greater when terrorist attacks are frequent and result in a large number of fatalities. Empirical findings also support the view that public finances in developing and low-income countries are more vulnerable to terrorism than those in countries that are richer and diversified.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that Israel’s economy has been doing well and near-term growth prospects are favorable. Following growth of 2.6 percent in 2014, the economy is expected to expand by about 2.5 percent in 2015 and 3–3.3 percent each year in the medium term. Employment creation has been remarkable—growing by 3.5 percent annually—and unemployment is at multi-decade lows. Inflation has been negative, but this trend reflects temporary external factors, not domestic weakness. Debt has declined to 67 percent of GDP from a peak of 94 percent of GDP in 2003 but is expected to increase for the first time since 2009, following the upward revisions to the deficit targets.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This 2013 Article IV consultation highlights the moderate growth of the economy of Israel. Abstracting from the impact of new large-scale natural gas production, GDP growth is estimated to have moderated to about 2.5 percent in 2013, owing in large part to weak investment and exports. Some pickup is expected in 2014, but the underlying momentum is weaker than before. Despite notable progress, Israel’s public debt remains high, while continued housing price increases pose risks of a boom-bust cycle in the housing market. The key policy challenge is to maintain near-term growth at potential, while preventing the buildup of imbalances, strengthening resilience to shocks, and ensuring long-term sustainability.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues Paper states that Israel’s growth performance is impressive, with real GDP growing at a faster pace than many other OECD countries. The secular Jewish population enjoys a high level of living standards, whereas most Arab and Haredi people are poor, with poverty incidence reaching 60 percent for both groups. Low employment in Arab and Haredi communities is mainly accounted for by the low employment rate of Arab women and Haredi men.
International Monetary Fund
This 2012 Article IV Consultation reports that Israel has emerged from the 2008–09 global crisis with strong economic growth, a resilient banking system, and unemployment at historic lows. Exports, at 40 percent of GDP, depend on global demand for high-technology products, such as electronics and pharmaceuticals, and communications. One-third of exports go directly to Europe, with more routed there indirectly. Given the country’s weak direct trade linkages to the region, regional tensions mainly affect Israel through security, investor and consumer confidence, and public finances.
International Monetary Fund
The study shows that the Israeli economy has emerged unscathed from the global financial crisis. The first part of the study outlines the relationship between risk and Israel’s macroeconomic performance, estimated through a regression analysis. The second part of the study focuses on macrofinancial policies to cope with macrofinancial risk, with special emphasis on monetary and fiscal intervention. The study shows that stress testing and CCA analysis play a role in supervisory work; they complement and can inform each other in critical areas.
International Monetary Fund
This staff report discusses Israel’s 2009 Article IV Consultation on economic developments and policies. The economy has been shielded from the global downturn by the absence of prior housing or bank credit booms, high household savings rates, and the fact that investment goods and consumer durables are mostly imported from abroad. Safe-haven factors that have put upward pressure on the currency appear to have eased along with the global financial sector stabilization, and concerns about the excessive strength of the shekel have not entirely been put to rest.
Mr. Steven A. Symansky, Mr. Xavier Debrun, and Mr. Natan P. Epstein
We propose a fiscal rule that fulfills a specific debt reduction objective while maintaining significant fiscal flexibility-two overarching concerns in Israel. Not unlike the Swiss "debt brake," the rule incorporates an error-correction mechanism (ECM) through which departure from the debt objective affects binding medium-run expenditure ceilings. Two variants of our ECM rule are shown to be superior to a comparable deficit rule in terms of attaining the debt objective and allowing for fiscal stabilization while supporting medium-term expenditure planning. Given its relative sophistication, a proper implementation of the ECM rule requires supportive fiscal institutions, including independent input and assessment.