Jonathan Katz
Former Chief Economist, Finance Ministry Budget Department

Recent Country Insights

Core inflation accelerates on higher housing rental prices
ISRAEL · In Brief · 15 Jul 2024

No inflation surprises this time June’s CPI print (0.1% m/m, 2.9% y/y) came in according to market expectations (and ours as well). There were no significant surprises, although we note the acceleration of housing rental prices (OER) to 2.6% y/y from 1.9% y/y last month. This follows a downward t...

Cautious optimism regarding a cease-fire and Wiz sale strengthen the shekel
ISRAEL · Report · 15 Jul 2024

1. The shekel appreciated sharply as cease-fire expectations have increased, and the sale of Wiz to Google for 23bn USD is also a macro story. 2. The BoI expects only one rate cut in the coming year, but much will depend on the geopolitical risk premium. 3. Fiscal revenues continue to excee...

Shekel appreciated on possible cease-fire deal and sale of Wiz to Google
ISRAEL · In Brief · 15 Jul 2024

Geopolitics: Cease-fire negotiations are underway as hostilities continue. On Saturday, Israel targeted Muhammed Deif, the Hamas military chief, regarded as number 2 in Hamas (after Sinwar). It is not clear how this assassination will affect negotiations. Meanwhile, missile attacks from the North...

Rate hold decision with a hawkish message
ISRAEL · In Brief · 08 Jul 2024

Rate hold decision with a hawkish message To our surprise, instead of a hint of possible loosening when geopolitical risks subside, the underlying message was one of concern regarding inflationary pressure going forward and concern regarding more prolonged hostilities at a more intense level prev...

Rate hold decision expected today, with a dovish bias
ISRAEL · Report · 08 Jul 2024

1. We expect a rate hold decision today, with a loosening bias. 2. Business sentiment reflects growth improvement in June, but expectations are for slower growth ahead. 3. Hi-tech service exports expanded rapidly in April, a positive factor for the shekel when geopolitical risks decline.

A rate hold decision is expected hinting at likely loosening when geopolitical risks decline
ISRAEL · In Brief · 07 Jul 2024

Geopolitics: There is renewed optimism regarding a possible cease-fire and a hostage deal with Hamas not demanding a complete end to hostilities and total Israel withdrawal as pre-conditions for a deal. It is still difficult to say whether a deal will actually occur. Israel continues to operate i...

Pace of bond issuance remains steady, MoF confident in reaching its fiscal target
ISRAEL · Report · 01 Jul 2024

1. Private consumption growth has decelerated but the level of consumption remains strong. 2. The pace of government bond issuance remains steady, and the MoF is reporting robust tax revenues in June. 3. We expect a rate-hold decision next week on elevated geopolitical risks.

Pace of government debt issuance remains steady, tax revenues remain strong in June
ISRAEL · In Brief · 30 Jun 2024

Geopolitics: Israel continues to operate in Gaza targeting specific areas. The missile barrage from Lebanon has decreased somewhat compared to the previous week. There is a vague renewed initiative for a cease-fire with Hamas, according to the US. Although the Supreme Court ruled that the ultra-o...

Slow housing activity + tight labor market support inflationary pressure
ISRAEL · Report · 24 Jun 2024

1. The labor market remains tight with job vacancies elevated and the unemployment rate low. 2. Residential completions declined sharply in Q124; a trend which will likely support higher housing prices, rentals as well. 3. The current account remained strong in Q124 but FDI declined. Fund...

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