Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich on Monday presented his report on economic trends and fiscal projections, for 2024, to the Knesset Finance Committee, and said Israel's economy was in relatively good shape, compared to other countries but did not live up to expectations. "In addition to global inflation, Israel's market is negatively affected by imports and that will increase amid the weakening of the shekel," he said.
The minister then blamed the mass protests against the judicial legislation, for the lackluster results.
"Israeli economy is exhibiting fortitude and stability during a world crisis and microeconomics indicators are good and strong. These strengths are highlighted in view of the campaign launched in recent months by irresponsible actors who are trying to harm the economy, as part of their political struggle against the right-wing government and the important revisions it intends to make to the Israeli judicial system," he said.
Giant forces with huge budgets and unprecedented support from the media are defaming Israel among economists, with blatant lies and fearmongering to create a negative view of the economy. Thus far their effect is minute. The free market is smarter than those barnburners believe. It understands that Israel's economy is strong and its economic policies right, professional, consistent and responsible," he said.
Fitch Ratings earlier this month affirmed Israel's A+ sovereign credit rating and "stable" outlook, citing strong external finances while cautioning that the government's judicial overhaul plan could hurt Israel's credit metrics but warned the rating could be affected by a “decline in Israel's institutional strength” as a result of “reforms weakening judicial oversight leading to a significant negative impact on macroeconomic and fiscal indicators or resulting in a fall in WBGI for Israel.