According to the Bank of Israel, the Israeli economy continued to grow at a rate of about 3.3% in 2019, which is the same growth rate as in 2018. The growth rate continues to be high relative to OECD countries. The GDP is expected to grow with demographic increase and the expansion in technology and natural resources. The growth rate forecast for the coming year is 2.9%.
Unemployment rate in 2019 reached a new low of 3.6%, down from 4.2% in 2018.
In 2019, the average wage per employee rose to NIS 10,499 from NIS 10,442, in 2018.
In 2019, the inflation rate reached 0.6%. According to estimates of the Bank of Israel, the expected inflation rate for the coming year is 1%.
In 2019, the monetary interest rate remained at 0.25%, similar to the rate at the end of 2018. This level of interest has been with us for many years, and it is expected to continue in the coming year.
In 2019, the rise in non-residential construction starts continued, exceeding 2.5M sq m.
In 2019, the appreciation of the shekel against the dollar, the euro, and the foreign currency basket continued, in view of the resilience of the Israeli economy and the increase in the surplus in the current account, which reached $4B. The lowering of interest rates by the central banks worldwide, alongside the stable interest rates in Israel, seem to have contributed to this trend.
The residential housing market has gained momentum as a result the expected reduction of the Buyer’s Price program and a decline in mortgage rates. This momentum is reflected in an increase in the volume of transactions carried out in the last quarter of 2019.
Mortgage rates are at a historic low and continued to decrease throughout 2019. This change is expected to support the housing market in the coming year as well.
In 2019, trade in Tel-Aviv was characterized by increasing rates, similar to the world's leading stock exchanges, which began as a correction to the sharp declines in world markets in December 2018, and was supported mainly by low-to-negative interest rates and monetary expansion by the central banks worldwide.