The international financial services and credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s on Friday affirmed Israel’s international credit rating as positive, giving it an A+ score. The agency’s economic forecast for the Jewish state defined the country’s economy as “stable” and projected it would grow by 3 percent between 2015 and 2018.
But the Israeli economy is not without its challenges, S&P said, naming a high debt ceiling as well as geopolitical factors and regional threats that may destabilize the Middle East, deter for-eign investors, and curb growth potential.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “Reaffirming Israel’s credit rating reflects the global community’s faith in Israel’s responsible and balanced fiscal policies over the years.”
Last fall, economists said the Israeli economy was still holding strong, even though the Jewish state had just finished the 50-day Operation Protective Edge against Hamas. Israel’s Manufacturers Association estimated the total economic impact on Israeli manufacturers for the first round of the conflict was at about 1.2 billion shekels.
Between 1984 and 2014, Israel’s gross domestic product (GDP) increased tenfold from $30 billion to $300 billion, while per-capita GDP rose from $7,000 to $38,000. Negative indicators fell likewise: The public debt-to-GDP ratio shrank from 280 percent to 66 percent, the external public debt-to-GDP ratio fell from 55 percent to 10 percent, and the budget deficit-to-GDP ratio declined from 17 percent to 3 percent.