Fast Vaccination Drive Boosts Israeli Economic Outlook This Year

Israel’s rapid deployment of vaccines is building optimism about the pace of economic expansion this year.

Bank Leumi Le-Israel analysts including chief economist Gil Bufman see a base case of 4.9% growth, and up to 7% if the inoculation momentum holds.

Jonathan Katz, macroeconomic strategist for Leader Capital Markets Ltd., sees output growing 4.2%, up from a previously forecast 3.9% -- including a 9% jump in fourth-quarter 2021 over the same period last year.

If previously the expectation had been for a weak first half and ideally a strong second half, then perhaps now the recovery can begin as early as the second quarter, Katz said.

The country has already administered Pfizer Inc. doses to over 10% of its 9.2 million people, the highest rate in the world.

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