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Israel budget deficit rises to 7.2%

June 10, 2024 at 9:51 am

Israeli shekels. [Christopher Furlong/Getty Images]

The Israeli Ministry of Finance announced on Sunday that the budget deficit for the 12 months ending in May had widened to 7.2 per cent of GDP, up from 6.9 per cent in the 12 months ending in April.

In a statement, the ministry reported that the deficit for the 12 months ending in May amounted to 137.7 billion shekels ($37 billion). Projections for the total deficit for 2024 are around $33 billion.

This growing deficit is attributed to the ongoing extensive military spending for Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip, now in its ninth month.

According to the ministry, the cumulative deficit reached $13 billion from the beginning of 2024 until the end of May, compared to a surplus of $3.5 billion on a yearly basis.

In May alone, the deficit reached 10 billion shekels ($2.9 billion). However, excluding tax payments postponed due to Passover, the deficit is higher, estimated at approximately 14.8 billion shekels ($4 billion), according to Globes.

The Ministry of Finance estimates that the deficit will peak by September, after which a gradual decrease is anticipated.

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