Israel lowers its base interest rate by two percent
The Bank of Israel will lower today, December 24, its base interest rate by two percent from 5.8 percent, in an attempt to revive the nation’s suffering economy. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon stated at a press conference that he would cut six billion shekels ($1.4 billion) from the budget, which is expected to soon be ratified, reported AFP.
Israel's economy was considerably affected by the September 11 attacks on the United States and continues to struggle as a result of the continuing Intifada. The country reported a drop in November of nearly three percent in third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP).
Unemployment rates also rose in November, increasing by 1.5 percent to 198,400 persons, confirmed official figures. The total number of individuals looking for employment surpassed 235,000, or 9.3 percent of the population qualified to work, according to quarterly figures. — (menareport.com)
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