Bank of Israel keeps interest rate unchanged at 0.1 pct

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-20 00:15:30|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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JERUSALEM, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- The Monetary Committee of the Bank of Israel announced Thursday to keep the interest rate unchanged at 0.1 percent.

It explained that the inflation environment in Israel remains very low, below the government's target range of 1-3 percent.

"Short-term expectations are below the target range, while long-term expectations are anchored within the range," according to the statement made by the Bank of Israel.

The statement said that indicators of real economic activity support the assessment that the economy will continue growing at a rate that is in line with potential growth, after some slowdown in the first half of the year.

Following a sharp decline in inflation in previous months, the change in the CPI readings for August and September in Israel was positive. As a result, inflation over the past 12 months has increased to 0.1 percent in the country.

Figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics of Israel showed the year-on-year growth of GDP in Israel reached 2.4 percent in the second quarter of this year, while that in the first quarter was merely 0.8 percent.

According to the updated forecast of the Bank of Israel, GDP is expected to grow by 3.1 percent in 2017 and by 3.3 percent in 2018.

The Bank of Israel said the appreciation of the shekel has resumed in recent months. Over the past 12 months, the appreciation of the Israeli currency shekel in terms of the effective exchange rate was 6.1 percent.