Kicking off the month of May was definitely a breath of fresh air for the USD/NIS exchange rate, which found itself in territory not seen in nine months. Elsewhere, sterling got pounded, the Israeli workforce springs into action, and the government looks to take it easy. All that, plus the next generation of Israel’s entrepreneurs hit the road. Ready to get caught up on what you may have missed? Then buckle up, because our latest Israel Business Week Roundup is about to get going.
From the IsraTransfer Trading Desk
The rocky times definitely continued for sterling last week. Since trading above the key psychological level of 5.00 for the first time in two years, the GBP/NIS exchange rate has steadily dropped back down to its lowest point in over a month. As we mentioned last week, news of official slowing in the UK economy has clearly put a damper on things, however, all eyes will be on the Bank of England this Thursday for its next rate decision, as well as the latest on inflation. With the release of both, the additional clarity should help settle some nerves, and keep the freefall from continuing.
It was another story altogether on the other side of the world, where the USD/NIS exchange rate continued to reward those who have been waiting to convert dollars to shekels. With an exchange rate currently trading at a nine month high of 3.61, and momentum now clearly on its side, we expect the trend to continue with potential upside of 3.70 looking out onto the intermediate term horizon.
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Bank of Israel Representative Rates
For the Week of April 30th thru May 4th, 2018
|Currency||Symbol||Week High||Week Low||Week Close|
|South African Rand||ZAR||0.2916||0.2845||0.2894|
This Week's Notable Economic Announcements
|Tuesday, May 8th||USD||US Fed Chairman Powell speaks in Zurich|
|Thursday, May 10th||GBP||Bank of England Rate Decision|
|Thursday, May 10th||GBP||Bank of England Inflation Report|
|Thursday, May 10th||USD||Consumer Price Index|
|Friday, May 11th||CAD||Employment/Unemployment Rate|
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Israel Government Looks to Curb Regulations
On the hunt for over a billion shekels in economic savings, Prime Minister Netanyahu has introduced a new plan designed to slash or eliminate over 80 regulations from 15 government ministries, the Tax Authority, and Antitrust Authority. Netanyahu said that in addition to cost savings, the plans would also reduce the number of days spent waiting for permits by more than 40 million a year. He also went on to forecast an acceleration of regulatory reductions in the years to come as Israel seeks to regain its footing after sliding to 54th from 52nd in the World Bank’s 2018 Doing Business Survey.
Israel Unemployment Drops
In a welcome sign for Israel economy, data released last week by the Central Bureau of Statistics showed a drop in the unemployment rate in March to 3.6% from 3.8% in the month of February. Leading the way of those back on the job were those in the 25-64 year age bracket which declined nearly half of a percent to 3.2% from its rate of 3.6% in the fourth quarter of 2017. While the news sounds especially promising, it is worth noting that the data also showed a reduction in the participation rate in the labor force to 63.8% from 64% over the same period, which will be something to keep an eye on when the next report is published.
Israel’s Bright Young Minds of Tomorrow, Today
One of the world’s biggest hazards for those behind the wheel of a car is officially being put on notice by a team of entrepreneurs not even old enough to drive. Notify, enables drivers to block distracting apps of their choice, while still being able to employ useful ones such as navigation. A sensor attached to the company’s proprietary mobile phone mount detects when the phone is placed into it, and automatically activates the Notify app able to silence messengers, social networks, news alerts, and any other application with the potential to steal drivers’ attention from the road.
In its current iteration, Notify requires the user to manually turn the notification blocking features on, although the team hopes to automate the process in a future release. To date the company is still in “pilot mode,” however, with the risk of car accidents increased tenfold by drivers who text hopefully Notify will be in stores everywhere by the time its creators obtain their licenses.
Ok everyone consider yourself back in-the-know. Have a very prosperous week from IsraTransfer.
Looking for the easiest way to send money to Israel? IsraTransfer Ltd. is Israel’s leading currency exchange firm specializing in wire transfers of US dollars (USD), British sterling (GBP), Canadian dollars (CAD), euros (EUR), and more to Israel. Founded in 2008, and with over 1 billion NIS exchanged, we are the exclusive operators of the AACI Currency Exchange Program.