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  • Writer's pictureSieracki Milosz

Israeli Shekel Weakens Amidst Fierce Protests: Impact on USD/ILS Exchange Rate

Updated: Aug 2, 2023


Israeli Shekel green market charts , money

In recent weeks, Israel has been facing a severe crisis as violent protests erupted across the nation. These demonstrations were triggered by the controversial judicial review law pushed through by Benjamin Netanyahu's government. The situation has escalated into one of the worst crises the country has experienced in years, and its effects on the Israeli economy are becoming a matter of concern.


The Controversial Judicial Review Law


The government claims that the new rules are necessary to curtail the power of the judiciary, which is perceived as highly activist and promoting a leftist agenda. However, critics argue that the law will paralyze the courts and weaken the rights of minority groups. This clash of ideologies has led to widespread unrest and protests throughout Israel.


Moody's Warning on Protests


As the protests continue, international credit rating agency Moody's has issued a warning regarding their potential impact on the Israeli economy. Currently, the country's economy is projected to grow by 3% in 2023 and 2024, but the Moody's report does not account for the negative repercussions of an extended crisis.


The Stability of Israel's Rating


Despite the ongoing protests, most major rating agencies, including Fitch, S&P Global, and Moody's, have confirmed that Israel's credit rating remains stable. However, they caution that the protests could lead to further economic weakening if not effectively addressed.


The Central Bank's Response


Amid the unrest, the Bank of Israel has decided to maintain the interest rates at a steady 4.75% in July. However, the bank's president has warned that interest rate hikes may be reinstated if inflation remains high for a prolonged period. This rate is the highest recorded since 2006, and the central bank is closely monitoring the situation.


Potential Impacts on the Israeli Economy


The ongoing protests pose a serious threat to Israel's economy. If the situation worsens or remains unresolved, it could deter foreign investment, disrupt trade, and cause uncertainty among businesses and consumers alike. Additionally, the protests might lead to a decrease in tourism, which is a significant contributor to Israel's GDP.


Foreign Investor Sentiment


Foreign investors are closely observing the developments in Israel, and their confidence in the country's stability could influence the inflow of investments. The protest's impact on investor sentiment may trigger capital outflows and negatively affect the Israeli shekel.


The Shekel's Weakening Against the USD


One evident manifestation of the crisis is the Israeli shekel's depreciation against the USD. The exchange rate rose from a low of 3.5531 on July 19th to a high of 3.7213, as investors gauged the implications of the ongoing protests on the country's economic prospects.


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Summary


The current situation in Israel calls for measured and prudent actions from both the government and protesters. The protests' persistence may exacerbate the already fragile economic conditions, leading to further depreciation of the Israeli shekel. It is imperative for all stakeholders to work towards peaceful resolutions to ensure stability and foster economic growth in the country.


FAQ


Q: How did the violent protests start in Israel?

  • A: The protests erupted following the enactment of a contentious judicial review law by Benjamin Netanyahu's government, leading to widespread unrest across the nation.

Q: What is the government's rationale behind the new judicial review law?

  • A: The government claims the law is necessary to curb the perceived activist nature of the judiciary, which they believe promotes a leftist agenda.

Q: How are the protests affecting Israel's economy?

  • A: Moody's warns that the ongoing protests pose a serious threat to the country's economy, potentially impacting foreign investments and trade.

Q: What are the potential consequences of prolonged protests on the Israeli economy?

  • A: Prolonged protests may deter foreign investments, disrupt trade, and cause uncertainty among businesses and consumers, with adverse effects on Israel's GDP.

Q: How is the Israeli shekel affected by the protests?

  • A: The shekel has weakened against the USD as investors assess the implications of the protests on Israel's economic outlook.

Q: What is the Bank of Israel's response to the crisis?

  • A: The Bank of Israel has maintained interest rates at 4.75% in July but may consider rate hikes if inflation persists at higher levels.


Remember, understanding the root causes of any crisis is essential to finding solutions. As the situation in Israel unfolds, it's crucial for policymakers, businesses, and citizens to work together towards a peaceful resolution for the sake of the nation's stability and prosperity.


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