The shekel is strengthening today against the dollar and against the euro. In late morning inter-bank trading, the shekel-dollar exchange rate is down 0.61% against the dollar at NIS 3.571/$ and down 0.33% against the euro at 4.221/€.
Yesterday, the Bank of Israel set the shekel-dollar representative rate down 0.167% from Tuesday's exchange rate at NIS 3.593/$ and set the shekel-euro rate down 1.264% at 4.235/€.
After losing ground against the world's major currencies over the past few months, the shekel is looking robust on the back of positive macroeconomic data. Israel's economy is looking strong with unemployment falling to new lows and yesterday the Central Bureau of Statistics announced that the Israeli economy grew 4.2% on an annualized basis in the first quarter of 2018, the third consecutive quarter in which growth topped 4%.
This latest data comes after the Central Bureau of Statistics announced earlier this week that inflation is running at 0.4% over the past 12 months. After four years of negative or virtually no inflation, this has reinforced hopes that the Bank of Israel will be able to move ahead with its plans to start raising interest rates in the fourth quarter of 2018.
After regional uncertainty in the Palestinian conflict over the Gaza border earlier this week and on the Golan Heights last week in the confrontation with Iran, the shekel has been further boosted by a swift return to relative calm.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 17, 2018
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