Israel's economy grew in 2009, against all expectations, and in contrast to other developed economies in the world. The Central Bureau of Statistics reported preliminary estimates today that show that in 2009, which will go down as one of the global economy's most challenging years, Israel's gross domestic product (GDP) grew 0.5%, in contrast to an OECD average of negative 3.5%.
Early forecasts for 2009 were for GDP to shrink 1.5%. In September, the Bank of Israel raised its forecast to 0% growth. As such, the actual figures beat even the most optimistic forecast.
Figures also show that Israel's GDP grew a surprisingly strong 3% in the third quarter of 2009, compared with 1.1% growth in the second quarter, and -3.2% in the first quarter.
The Central Bureau of Statistics also reported that GDP growth per capita fell in 2009 by 1.3%. In OECD countries, per capita growth fell a sharper 4%.
Unemployment was 7.7% in 2009, compared with an OECD average of 8.2%.
Despite GDP growth, business product shrank 0.4%.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 31, 2009
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