Photo Credit: Ron Almog / https://www.flickr.com/photos/ronalmog/

The Bank of Israel Monetary Committee has announced (May 29, 2017) it will keep the interest rate for June unchanged at 0.1 percent.

“The Monetary Committee intends to maintain the accommodative policy as long as necessary in order to entrench the inflation environment within the target range,” the committee said in its statement.

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“The Bank of Israel continues to monitor developments in inflation, the real economy, the financial markets, and the global economy, and will act to attain the monetary policy targets in accordance with such developments.

“For the past few months, housing market data have indicated moderation in demand for homes, reflected in a decline in transaction volume among all types of purchasers, a decline in the pace of new home sales, and continued decline in the flow of new mortgages taken out. There are a number of factors to which this moderation in demand may be attributed, including various policy measures adopted by the government and the increase in mortgage interest rates since mid-2015. In recent months, interest rates on mortgages have stabilized,” the committee said in its report.

“The moderation in demand alongside the continued increase in supply have led to the apparent stability in home prices.

“Global economic activity and world trade continue to improve gradually. The IMF and investment houses forecast that the improvement will continue, and sentiment indices are high.

“The weakness in first quarter growth in the US derives partially from transitory and seasonal factors, and most of the data indicate improvement in the second quarter.

“Despite some moderation in inflation, assessments are that the Federal Reserve will raise the federal funds rate at its next meeting. The new administration’s economic policy remains a source of uncertainty.

“In Europe, the results of France’s presidential elections markedly lowered the risk to the continued existence of the eurozone, and the economy continued to improve.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.