Thanks to good fiscal management, Israel's deficit will be less than had been expected. Instead of a projected NIS 6.5 billion in spending deficit, Israel will be spending only NIS 2 billion that it hadn't budgeted for.
The deficit figures were reported by the Bank of Israel Thursday after consulting with analysts. The analysts said that they expected deficit spending of NIS 6.5 billion in 2014 as well.
Meanwhile, the Bank said, the economy was expected to grow by 3.6% by the end of 2013. The growth was due in large part to the development and sale of natural gas at home and abroad, as well as consumer spending and continued divestment by the government of state-owned assets. Imports and exports, on the other hand are set to perform more poorly than had been expected at the beginning of the year.
In 2013, and next year, the Bank said, gas contributed a full 1% of Israel's economic growth.
In 2014, the Bank said, gas will have less of an impact on the economy, and public and consumer spending is expected to slow somewhat. Exports, on the other hand, are expected to bounce back, as the world economy continues to improve.
Inflation in 2014 is expected to remain low, at about 1.9%, the Bank added.