Standard & Poor's affirmed its A+ credit rating for Israel, with a stable outlook. Standard & Poor's estimated that real GDP per capita in 2013 will be 1.2%.
This number is similar to last year's, but considering the positive contribution of natural gas to growth in 2013 (0.7%), it indicates a weakening of economic activity. The announcement follows an annual visit by S&P representatives a month ago.
The delegation met with Finance Minister Yair Lapid, high-ranking officials in the Finance Ministry and the Bank of Israel, as well as, seniors in the public and private sectors.
This decision reflects "our view of Israel's prosperous and diverse economy, as well as the positive medium-term impact of natural gas production on the external account and the country's considerable monetary flexibility," a statement said, "Geopolitical risks and relatively weak, albeit improving, government finances constitute the major rating constraints."
S&P said the stable outlook reflects "our view that the government will continue to consolidate government finances and that the impact of security risks on the Israeli economy will remain contained". The ratings agency said it could consider an upgrade if Israel "makes material progress in defusing external security risks".