OECD says Israel leads world in coronavirus economic recovery

Chief Economist Laurence Boone says governments should take an example from Israel to use vaccines to help reopen economies.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

The Chief Economist of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said Tuesday Israel is ahead of all other nations in reopening its economy because it has been the fastest to get its population vaccinated.

In a press conference streamed on the OECD website, Dr. Laurence Boone gave an overview of the world economic situation under the coronavirus pandemic and said that a year since the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis, the state of the world economy looks better than expected.

In an interview afterwards with the Israeli economic newspaper Globes, Boone pointed to Israel’s success in deploying vaccines that allowed it to start reopening its economy.

Israel is a leader in vaccines, and we are seeing much faster relief from restrictions than elsewhere,” Boone told Globes. “This is of course going to give a boost to growth and employment, along with the (economic) measures that the government has implemented.”

“We are very impressed with the logistics and the way in which the vaccine is given throughout Israel, and we call on other countries to do the same,” Boone said.

According to the organization’s latest estimates, the world’s GDP will grow by no less than 5.6% this year, a significant improvement over the previous forecast three months ago that estimated a growth of only 4.2% in 2021.

“The world is in a little better shape,” Boone said at the press conference.

“This does not mean that there is not much to do,” she cautioned. “We are still far from where we would be if it were not for the epidemic, partly because many countries are not vaccinating faster, but the situation has improved somewhat.”

Boone mentioned the improvement in medical coping with the coronavirus, government assistance packages and the new incentive package approved over the weekend in the U.S. Senate.

“All of this is leading us to change our forecasts,” Boone said.

In her press conference seen in the OECD countries, Boone specifically singled out Israel for praise.

“Israel has vaccinated very quickly .. and as a result, the government has dramatically reduced restrictions and is allowing the economy to reopen,” Boone noted. “Israel is a leader in vaccines, and we are seeing much faster relief from restrictions than elsewhere.”

According to Boone’s latest forecast, the world GDP will return to the level it was before the outbreak of the pandemic in the first half of the 2021. However, she mentioned that behind this figure are two heavyweight players – China and the United States – whose economic situation is better than that of other countries.