Israeli economy grows by 3.5 percent in 2016

Contrary to predictions, the Israeli economy grew significantly in 2016.

Israel’s economy has grown by 3.5 percent in 2016, exceeding the Bank of Israel’s original prediction of 2.8 percent growth, the central bank’s research department said Wednesday.

The bank’s data indicates that Israelis’ standard of living grew by 2.9 percent this year, that private consumption rose by 5.9 percent, and that per capita growth increased by 1.5 percent.

The Bank of Israel had initially predicted 0.5 percent per capita growth in 2016. This year has also seen unemployment in Israel drop to a record low of 4.8 percent.

According to the data, first quarter economic growth was slow in 2016, but the economy began accelerating in the second quarter, when overall investments jumped by 10 percent—double the central bank’s original projection.

Imports (excluding defense imports) rose by 10.2 percent this year, and overall consumption (excluding defense consumption) grew by 4.3 percent.

Similarly, Israeli high-tech companies have set new records in raising funds with at least $4.6 billion raised this year, up from $4.43 billion in 2015.