IMF to Revise Up Israel GDP Forecast for 2020 After Latest Data

The International Monetary Fund expects to upwardly revise its forecast for Israeli economic growth this year, following a stronger-than-expected third quarter.

“The release showed very favorable numbers so we are certainly going to revise up our projection for 2020,” Iva Petrova, the head of the organization’s mission to Israel, said in a virtual press conference. “We expect a much, much lower contraction in 2020.”

The IMF had forecast the economy would shrink 5.9% this year, followed by expansion of about 4.9% in 2021, based on data through the second quarter. Petrova said the recovery next year is now expected to be “a slightly smaller number” though the IMF is still finalizing its projections.

The economy posted its best quarter since at least 1995 in the three months through September, buoyed by a loosening of coronavirus-related restrictions.

Bank Leumi Le-Israel, one of the country’s two largest lenders, now anticipates a 3.4% contraction this year, compared to a previous estimate of 5.5%.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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