The Israeli economy is expected to grow by 3.5% in 2013, according to the Finance Ministry’s official citing the influence of the start of natural gas production.
The updated forecast, which will serve as the basis for the next state budget, is 0.5% higher than estimates voices by Treasury officials six months ago and the Bank of Israel’s recent growth forecast.
The Treasury’s forecast for 2013 is even more optimistic than an estimate voiced by Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer’s just last week.
A U.S.-Israeli consortium led by Noble Energy and Delek Group is expected to start production from the Tamar field off Israel's Mediterranean coast, which has an estimated 274 billion cubic meters (bcm) of reserves, in the first half of 2013.
Israel's Finance Ministry expects the gas production to contribute 0.8% to the gross domestic product next year and 1% in 2014. The ministry also set a 2014 GDP growth estimate of 3.9%. Israel's economy is expected to grow close to 3.5% in 2012.