Rating Agency Upgrades Puts Israel ‘Among Strongest Economies in the World’

Israeli flags. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The latest credit rating from Standard & Poor’s for the State of Israel saw the country upgraded from “strong” to “very strong” according to the S&P website, and that something for which Israel’s leadership sees as vindication for their economic approach. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that the rating upgrade from A+ to AA- “positions Israel among the strongest economies in the world.”

Said Netanyahu in comments released by his office, “This attests to the responsible economic policy that we in the government have been conducting—the Finance Minister and fellow ministers. This policy has led to continuous growth in the Israeli economy.”

The Times of Israel reported that the improved credit rating is the highest Israel has ever received from the prestigious rating organization. In general, the S&P ratings go up to AAA, but Israel’s lower mark still represents a “stable” outlook according to a press release on the S&P website. The explanation on the website describing what the ratings mean terms anything in the “A” range to be “investment grade” and AA to indicate a “very strong capacity to meet financial commitments.” Netanyahu believes that it’s not just the wealthy who are benefitting from the growth.

“I read some of the analysts who say ‘Continuous growth, but it has not improved the lot of the weak’—this is simply incorrect,” said Netanyahu. “Year after year we see a decline in the disparity index, which is improving step by step, because we are combining, first of all, a free market policy with entry into the labor force, and as soon as people enter the labor force their situation improves.”

He called the policy “correct both economically and socially.”

Israeli Finance Minister Mosh Kahlon also praised the improved rating on Twitter in Hebrew. “Israel’s new credit rating is a historic event for our country and our economy. We have proved that it is possible to conduct a growing economic policy with a social policy of compassion and to succeed,” said Kahlon’s post as translated by the Microsoft software on Twitter.

“In the coming years, we will lead Israel to places that were only a few years ago, we could only imagine being there.”

The S&P credit rating upgrade follows a similar one from the Moody’s rating agency that improved Israel’s rating from stable to “positive”, according to the Moody’s website.

Said Netanyahu in separate comments released by his office following the S&P announcement, “These decisions reflect the strength of the Israeli economy and the correct and responsible economic policy that we are leading on behalf of Israel’s citizens.”

(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastudpate.com, August 5, 2018)


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