Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) announced that the Israeli economy grew at an annual rate of 5.1 percent in the second fiscal quarter of 2013, beating economists’ expectations.

Economists had projected 3-percent growth in the second quarter for Israel. This compares with just 2.7-percent growth in the first quarter and 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 for the Israeli economy.

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According to the CBS, the positive report was driven by 6.7 percent growth in private consumption, 1.2 percent growth in the exports of goods and services, and 8.3 percent growth in public consumption, Globes reported.

Analysts also said that natural gas production in the Tamar gas field off the coast of Israel, which began at the end of March, might have also played a role in the higher-than-expected growth rate, Haaretz reported.

The strong growth of Israel’s economy comes despite the departure of internationally renowned economist Stanley Fischer as the head of the Bank of Israel in June. Two of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s nominees to replace Fischer withdrew from consideration.

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