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Israel must tackle 'stubbornly high' budget deficit: IMF JERUSALEM: Israel's government needs to immediately address lowering the budget deficit or face a growing debt burden, the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday. It expects a deficit of 2.75 percent of gross domestic product in 2015 and urged the government bring it down to 2.25 percent next year. "The fiscal deficit remains stubbornly high," the IMF said at the end of its week-long visit to Israel. "Current levels leave few buffers to deal with shocks, such as housing price correction, renewed conflicts, or a sharp recession." The IMF also said that the Bank of Israel does not need to lower interest rates further since inflation is expected to return to a 1-3 percent annual target in 2016. It also projected economic growth of 3.0 percent in 2015, in line with the central bank's forecast, but said labour productivity must rise or GDP will slow in the future. Copyright Reuters, ...

Palestinians to submit first file to ICC next week JERUSALEM: The Palestinians will next week submit their first file to the International Criminal Court in their bid to open criminal proceedings against Israel, an official said on Thursday.The move is part of an increased focus on diplomatic manoeuvring and appeals to international bodies by the Palestinians, who have been frustrated by a lack of progress in ending the Israeli occupation and creating their own independent state. The file is to be handed to ICC ...
1,600 buses to transport 25mn worshipers in Makkah ISLAMABAD: Emir of Makkah Prince Khaled Al-Faisal has assigned five transport companies to temporally provide public transport services to about 25 million pilgrims and visitors to the Grand Mosque during the Holy month of Ramadan, which officially starts today (Thursday).The public transport vehicles are expected to make about 5 million trips during the fasting month.Prince Khaled asked the transport companies to facilitate the transportation of pilgrims so that they are able to perform their rituals ...
Al Qaeda in Yemen confirms leader killed in drone strike DUBAI: Al Qaeda in Yemen has confirmed the death of its leader Nasir al-Wuhayshi, number two in the global militants organisation, in a US drone strike, in a video statement posted online.Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula said Wuhayshi "was killed in a US drone attack that targeted him along with two other militants," said the statement posted online by al Qaeda's al Malahem media arm and dated June 15. Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015 ...
Obama poised to send more troops to train Iraqis WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama appears poised to approve the deployment of hundreds more US training personnel to Iraq, in a bid to reverse gains by the Islamic State group.Officials said Obama is considering authorizing an increase of under 500 troops to boost the capacity of the Iraqi army and tribal fighters."We are considering a range of options to accelerate the training and equipping of Iraqi security forces," National Security Council spokesman Alistair Baskey told AFP."Those ...
Israeli group tenders for 115,000 tonnes corn, 65,000 tonnes feed wheat HAMBURG: A group of Israeli private buyers has issued international tenders to purchase up to 115,000 tonnes of corn and 65,000 tonnes of feed wheat all of optional origins, European traders said on Monday.The tenders close on June 9, traders said. If based on European Union or Black Sea region supplies, some 15,000 tonnes of corn was sought for shipment between June 25 and July 15, 50,000 tonnes between July 20 and Aug.10 and a ...
Saudi says it intercepted Scud missile fired from Yemen RIYADH: Saudi Arabia said it intercepted a Scud missile fired on its territory by rebel forces in neighbouring Yemen early Saturday as momentum gathers for peace talks in Switzerland next weekend."The Royal Saudi Air Defence Forces intercepted it with a Patriot missile," said a statement from the Saudi-led coalition which has been waging an air war against the rebels since March 26.Coalition aircraft destroyed the launcher used in the 2:45 am (2345 GMT Friday) attack ...


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Foreign Debt $62.649bn
Per Cap Income $1,512
GDP Growth 4.24%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.197 bln
Exports $1.729 bln
Imports $3.926 bln
WeeklyNovember 23, 2015
Reserves $19.713 bln