Israel's national debt hits new record
Israel's national debt hit a new record in the first half of 2009, as its economy is still in recession with no clear answer about where it heads, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.
The Finance Ministry issued about 7 billion U.S. dollars in new debt in the first six months this year, making Israel's national debt rise by 4.9 percent to 151 billion dollars, Ha'aretz reported, citing figures released by the Finance Ministry's accountant general,reported Xinhua.
The ministry, considering the economy is in recession and gross domestic product (GDP) is shrinking, put the debt-to-GDP ratio between 84 percent and 84.4 percent at the end of 2009 by estimate, rising from 78.3 percent at the end of 2008.
Israeli economy entered the crisis under more favorable conditions than other countries like the United States. Latest statistics suggest that most economic indicators in Israel are still dropping in the second quarter, but the pace is moderating.
Exports of goods rose 1.4 percent in the second quarter of 2009 in annual terms, after falling 25.3 percent in the previous quarter.
Retail sales rose 5.1 percent from April to June, after rising 4.2 percent in the first quarter. Credit card purchases were up 9. 5 percent for the quarter, a sign of pickup in consumer spending, Ha'aretz reported, citing new figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics.