עובד אדמתו ישבע לחם... משלי י"ב: י"א
He who tills the land shall be satisfied with bread...
After having enjoyed for many years one of the fastest GDP growth rates among world economies, Israel continued the economic recovery in 2003, after a two-year distinct slowdown in almost all economic activities. This trend continued in 2007, according to all economic parameters. In the years 2006-2007, Israel's gross domestic product (GDP) continued its rapid growth, reaching 5.1 percent in 2006, in spite of the Second Lebanon War, which caused a temporary loss of 0.7% of the GNP. The speedy recovery and the continuation of the rapid growth were again led by the business sector, which expanded by 6.4 percent, resulting in a €17,865 per capita GDP in 2006.
In 2006-2007 Israel continued to achieve its main macroeconomic objectives: a very low, sometimes even negative rate of inflation, a very low budget deficit, and a limited increase in public expenditure. At the same time, Israel continued to attract foreign investments as well as enjoying a rapid growth in exports and a positive trade balance for the first time. These trends continued in the first half of 2007 and the forecast for the whole year was of continued economic growth with no inflation, a low budget deficit, and economic stability on all fronts.
In late 2008, as some of the world’s financial giants began to stumble and markets around the world seemed on the verge of collapse, no one was sure how Israel’s fragile, export-based economy would fare. As time wore on, however, Israel showed its economic strength lay not only in its capability for expansion during the boom years, but in its resilience during times of economic contraction.
Now, as the global economy haltingly emerges from recession, Israel has quickly regained economic momentum, shown first in a stock market which outperformed all Western bourses in 2009, and later finding expression in increased exports, declining unemployment and robust consumer demand.