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July 7, 2015 / 20 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘economy’

Shekel-Dollar Rates Tops 3.91

Monday, December 1st, 2014

The shekel-dollar rate hit a new two-year Monday morning, rising above 3.91 shekels to the dollar.

In July, the rate was around 3.40 with projections for its going even lower.

FXCM Israel, quoted by Globes, explained Monday, “The shekel-dollar exchange rate is not stopping and reaches new peaks almost daily….

“It seems that sentiment towards the shekel is at an unprecedented low, both because of the deteriorating security situation and because of the signs that the coalition is breaking up and the election atmosphere that is taking over the political arena. All this arouses concern on the market.

“The local market seems dominated by buyers only: on the one hand, those long on the dollar are not rushing to take profits, despite the price levels, while in current conditions no-one dares buy the shekel, even when there are technical opportunities for doing so. We are thus witness to a completely one-sided market.”

It concludes that in the long term, “There is no escaping the view that this trend will continue, both because of the gap in economic growth between the US and Israel, and because of the fact that the U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to start toughening its interest rate policy, whereas the Bank of Israel, in current conditions, is expected to leave its interest rate at virtual zero for a prolonged period.

However, the Swiss USB bank wrote last week that while it sees the rate rising to 4 shekels to the dollar by mid-2015,,” Israel’s strong balance of payments should stem the depreciation in the medium term.”

Financial advisers have a habit of predicting the future based on the past and are not very good at calling a change indirection.

If the Israeli government coalition holds and early elections are not called, that could help brake the one-way trip for the currency.

Consumer Revolution Sparks ‘Five-Shekel Supermarket’ Chain

Monday, November 10th, 2014

The man who introduced Israelis to the five-cent cup of coffee now is planning to open up a chain of supermarkets that will sell 600 leading food and housewares products for five shekels, which today comes out to $1.32

Avi Katz, whose Cofix chain startled restaurants earlier this year by not gouging customers with coffee costing anywhere from 8 to 12 shekels a cup, said his “Super Cofix” supermarket will open its first branch in Tel Aviv in April, Globes business newspaper reported Monday.

“We feel that the market is ripe for a revolution that will turn the complaints into buying power,” Katz said, “I want to take the high-cost-of-living virtual protest and put it on a practical track. Poor people need to buy cheap; rich people like to buy cheap.”

Every product to be sold in the new chain will cost 5 shekels. Half of the products will be food items, including meat, vegetables and fruit.

Other products will include cleaning liquids, cosmetics and basic housewares.

Super Cofix is not designed as a full-service supermarket that can compete with the large chains in Israel. But the cheap prices for popular brands will force the big chains to bring down prices or lose shekel-wise customers.

Israelis don’t yet believe it, but the country is undergoing a social revolution that is breaking monopolies, oligarchies and cartels, and the savings will leave money in consumers’ pocketbooks to buy other merchandise that they previously had to avoid.

The biggest earthquake until now has been the collapse of the mobile phone oligarchy, thanks to former Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon. He opened up the market to competition and introduced Israel to the ancient concept of a free market that makes greedy billionaires sweat on their way to the bank. Cell phone prices tumbled by up to 90 percent, and the three large mobile phone companies saw their exorbitant profits and multi-million dollar salaries for CEOs go down the tubes.

They literally were raping the public financially while shareholders enjoyed fat dividends of more than 12 percent as they watched their shares rise 10 percent annually. Those who did not believe Kahlon was serious took it on the chin as the share prices of some companies, such as Cellcom, lost 90 percent of their value.

The Rami Levi supermarket chain has forced price cutting in the food industry, but Katz’s proposed Super Cofix chain indicates there still is too much cash in company tills.

Next to go might be the importers of cars, who gouge Israelis with exorbitant prices by holding on to their positions as exclusive agents for certain models.

Several governments have not fulfilled promises that they will break the Israel Electric Corp. and Israel Ports Authority’s medieval management .

The time is coming closer when the government finally will be able to put an end to the ridiculous benefits for every IEC employee to receive free electricity and for the Ports Authority to run an operation based on nepotism.

Reform is on the way, and the savings will trickle down very quickly and provide a launching pad for the economy.

Israeli Food Retailers Required to Publish Prices Online

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

New regulations signed yesterday will force major food retailers in Israel to publish their prices on the internet and update them hourly.

The regulations, signed by Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, are intended to promote competition between the 19 food chains, according to Globes.

Lapid told media in a statement released by his office: “With the passage of the Food Law, the Consumer Protection and Fair Trade Authority has begun intensive work to formulate regulations that stipulate the technical specifications and the way in which information will be posted and updated on the retailer’s website.

“The Authority’s work in conjunction with the Ministry of the Economy and the Budgets Division at the Ministry of Finance was carried out in consultation with computing experts, and included extensive discussion with the retailers to which the law will apply.

“Applications developers were also brought in, in the expectation that they will us the information to develop price comparison applications.

“We continue to fight against the cost of living. Through price transparency, competition between the retail chains will increase, leading to cheaper prices,” Lapid said.

The government ultimately expects to create a mobile app that will allow consumers to check online while out and about to see which store is selling an item at the best price per unit.

Gaza Rebuilding to Begin With Winter

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

The Palestinian Authority unity government will begin reconstruction just as its citizens begin to face the freezing cold of winter.

A report published by the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency noted that none of the rubble left from Israel’s counter terror Operation Protective Edge has yet been removed in Gaza. Private companies will not start that process until next month, PA Housing and Public Works Minister Mufid al-Hasayneh told Ma’an.

Companies will first “prepare the sites” to which rubble will be taken – one in Gaza City, the other in Rafah, on the border with Egypt.

Meanwhile, PA is also expected to sign an agreement with the United Nations Development Program “to distribute $10 million to families whose homes were partially destroyed.”

According to the report, each family will receive between $1,000 to $2,000 to repair their homes. The money is to come from PA coffers, al-Hasayneh explained, since donations from international pledges have yet to arrive.

The United Nations and international donors have never offered financial compensation to the thousands of Israelis whose homes were damaged by rocket attacks from Gaza over the past 12 years.

The United States pledged $212 million to reconstruction in Gaza; the European Union is to donate 450 million euros, and Qatar has said it will send $1 billion. Donors pledged a total of more than $5 billion altogether to repair the damage caused by Hamas choosing to attack Israel from within civilian residential areas and from behind human shields.

Unprecedented NIS 2b Development Plan for Southern Israel Gets Green Light

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Israel’s Cabinet today approved a proposal by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to invest NIS 2 billion in a long-term socioeconomic development plan in southern Israel.

The proposal is intended to upgrade civilian infrastructure in the fields of energy, industry, employment, health, agriculture, transportation, housing, social welfare, education, environmental protection, the economy and tourism, according to a statement released by the prime minister’s office.

The proposal comes in addition to one already approved Sunday by the Cabinet that included a detailed development plan for Sderot and communities along the Gaza border.

At the start of Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said that this plan “includes building an additional hospital in Be’er Sheva, paving roads, assisting small and intermediate businesses, and developing tourism enterprises in the south and around the country in the wake of Operation Protective Edge.”

The prime minister underlined the fact that the proposal came in addition to “the decision we made on Sunday to add over NIS 1 billion for Sderot” and communities in the Gaza Belt area.

“I told the mayors and local council heads that I met with yesterday at the Eshkol Regional Council that the State of Israel was not making these unprecedented investments just for show,” Netanyahu continued.

“We are doing so with a two-fold goal – investing in and deepening our hold on all parts of the country but also as a message to those who seek to uproot us, that they will never succeed in doing so. We are all responsible for this.

“I would like to wish all citizens of Israel a good and happy New Year. I would also like to wish ministers a good and happy year. We are working together in order to ensure the future of the State of Israel and the people of Israel. May we all have a good, prosperous, safe and quiet year.”

Report: Netanyahu, Lapid Reach 2015 Budget Deal

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yair Lapid have reportedly resolved their differences over the 2015 state budget.

The target deficit will be raised from 2.5 percent to 3.4 percent and the defense budget will be increased by NIS 6 billion, according to the report by The Marker.

There will be a zero percent VAT (value added tax / sales tax) and no increase in taxes.

Media Sells Phony Story of Suffering Palestinian Authority Economy

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Newspapers around the world Tuesday published a wire service article stating that the Palestinian Authority economy is expected to plunge by 15 percent this year and that economic growth will shrink by 4 percent because of the war in Gaza

The headline of the Associated Press article should have read, “Statistics, Statistic and Damned Lies.”

It is indeed accurate that the World Bank’s senior official in Judea, Gaza and Samaria indeed predicted that the Palestinian Authority’s’ economic growth is dropping sharply, but the whole truth, buried in the bottom of the article, is that the economy in Judea and Samaria actually is growing, albeit at a diminishing rate, just like in Israel.

One popular English-language Israeli news site bought the story, hook, line and sinker, and another also published the news of the “dismal forecast,” noting in a gross understatement that Gaza as the biggest impacted area.

You have to skip down to the 18th paragraph in the 19-paragraph story to discover, “According to the bank’s projections, the West Bank economy is likely to stagnate this year, with about 0.5 percent growth, while the Gaza economy is expected to shrink by 15 percent.”

But what about the statement that the “overall Palestinian economy will shrink by 4 percent this year”? How can that be if the economy in Judea and Samaria will grow.

Quick arithmetic comes up with the obvious answer that the statistics for Gaza, whose rulers brought the recent war on themselves, drag down the total figure that includes Judea and Samaria.

It should also be taken into account that the World Bank is the same grandiose institution that in 2005 promoted the expulsion of Jews from Gaza, euphemistically called the “Disengagement,” and was instrumental in the colossal stupidity of turning over Jewish greenhouses to Gaza farmers so that they could build their own economy in peace and freedom.

Within days, hothouses were torn down and became training grounds for Fatah and Hamas terrorists. Ever since the intifada in the late 1980s and the ensuing Oslo War in 2000, Gaza’s economy went from boom to bust.

But let’s stick with the World Bank and its dismal forecast.

By some unholy coincidence, the World Bank’s Palestinian Authority-based official, Steen Lau Jorgensen, released his report a week before a meeting of donor nations to the Palestinian Authority when the U.N. general Assembly convenes.

Just a coincidence, of course.

And what is the World Bank’s solution to the sagging economy? Get rid of Hamas, which no person with an iota of honesty can deny is totally corrupt and has exploited Gaza Arabs, raped them financially and robbed them of humanitarian aid?

No way.

The solution, according to the World Bank, is the “unity government” in which Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Hamas’s rival Fatah movement, is supposed to work with Gaza technocrats who are under the thumb of Hamas.

And of course Israel it to blame for the sagging economy in Gaza by restricting construction materials into Gaza, the same materials that Hamas used to build tunnels for terror.

Staging a promo for the donors’ conference, Jorgensen said, “It’s not clear that you would have substantial amounts … of new money coming in if there is no unified governance framework,” and Israel’s restrictions on the transfer of materials that can be used for terror mean it would take “18 years” to rebuild destroyed Gaza homes.

Remember the Hamas claims during the war, dutifully and  reported without question by the London Guardian, as noted Tuesday by the Elder of Ziyon blog site, that the Israel Air Force supposedly bombed and destroyed Gaza’s power plant?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/media-sells-phony-story-of-suffering-palestinian-authority-economy/2014/09/17/

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