The shekel is again strengthening against the dollar and the euro. In afternoon inter-bank trading, the shekel-dollar rate is 0.93% lower at NIS 3.831/$, and the shekel-euro rate is 0.61% lower at NIS 4.107/€.
Yesterday, the Bank of Israel set the representative shekel-dollar rate down 0.181% from Friday, at NIS 3.867/$, and the representative shekel-euro rate was set 0.002% higher at NIS 4.133/€.
Despite the escalation in the north this week, the shekel has now consolidated at a level stronger than on the eve of the war. On October 5, the shekel-dollar exchange rate was NIS 3.863/$. While depreciating to NIS 4.08/$ on October 27, since the start of November the Israeli currency has strengthened substantially.
The Israeli currency has been boosted by an economic survey by ratings agency S&P, which sees the Israeli economy returning to strong 5% growth in 2025, after growing 1.5% this year and 0.5% next year, providing the war does not escalate.
S&P said that an actual cut in Israel's credit rating in the next 12-24 months is only likely if the influence of the conflict on economic growth, the fiscal situation and Israel's balance of payments is more significant than the company expects, or if the conflict expands substantially and will increase the security and geopolitical risks that Israel faces.
Mizrahi Tefahot chief economist Ronen Menachem said, "In fact, in the report, the company's economists did not miss any opportunity to mention factors that will help the economy to successfully overcome the current war, even though they admit that it is not at all similar to previous events, which were operational and not territorial in nature."
He added, "Among other things, these include high-tech riches, the high foreign exchange balances at the Bank of Israel, the level of inflation in Israel, which is lower here than in many countries in the developed world, and the state's good access to debt markets abroad.
"However, naturally, the company's economists stress the high level of uncertainty that surrounds this rather encouraging outlook, given the circumstances, that it outlines. It must be remembered that the credit rating forecast is already negative today and if the conflict expands, a possibility that is not necessarily under Israel's sole control, the rating itself may drop."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 14, 2023.
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