Israeli shekel: Strongest currency in the world?

“The shekel has strengthened against the dollar by 6.6 percent since the beginning of the year.”

By World Israel News Staff 

The Israeli shekel is soaring in foreign currency trading, reports Calcalist.

The euro is trading for only 3.887 shekels, a drop of more than one percent and the U.S. dollar has lost six-tenths of a percent against the Israeli currency, the Israeli financial news outlet reported on Tuesday afternoon, with the dollar set at 3.499 shekels.

The outlet stresses that the decline in the levels of the euro and dollar is due to the strength of the Israeli currency. In world markets overall, says Calcalist, the dollar and euro are stable.

The strength of the shekel has lasted over the course of time, says Alex Zabezhinsky, chief economist at the Meitav Dash investment firm.

“The shekel has strengthened against the dollar by 6.6 percent since the beginning of the year,” he told Calcalist.

“There was a brief period of devaluation,” Zabezhinsky acknowledges; now, however, “the currency has strengthened again,” he adds.

“If you look at all the currencies over the past year, the shekel is the strongest currency in the world,” asserts the chief economist, saying that “perhaps there was one other currency that strengthened more against the dollar.”

He says that actually the shekel is over-performing beyond its actual value. One of the reasons, the chief economist told the business news outlet, was an “excessive” amount of investment.

Nonetheless, says Zabezhinsky, “this situation has existed for some years in which the shekel is the currency which has gained the most in the world or the currency which has gained almost the most.”

He adds that “as long as there are no changes in the circumstances, it is hard to see that it would change on its own.”

He sobered his comments, though, by noting that the political instability in Israel throughout 2019 does pose a risk, causing a lack of budgetary confidence which could influence the deficit.

Economic growth, he says, has been at about three percent and if it stays in that range, “it’s hard envisioning how the shekel would change direction,” according to the chief economist.