|Alexandr Shebanov | Dreamstime.com||Enlarge|
Israel has a technologically advanced market economy. Its major imports include crude oil, grains, raw materials, and military equipment. Cut diamonds, high-technology equipment, and pharmaceuticals are among the leading exports. Israel usually posts sizable trade deficits, which are covered by tourism and other service exports, as well as significant foreign investment inflows.
The global financial crisis of 2008-09 spurred a brief recession in Israel, but the country entered the crisis with solid fundamentals - following years of prudent fiscal policy and a resilient banking sector. The economy has recovered better than most advanced, comparably sized economies. In 2010, Israel formally acceded to the OECD. Israel's economy also has weathered the Arab Spring because strong trade ties outside the Middle East have insulated the economy from spillover effects.
Natural gasfields discovered off Israel's coast during the past two years have brightened Israel's energy security outlook. The Leviathan field was one of the world's largest offshore natural gas finds this past decade, and production from the Tamar field is expected to meet all of Israel's natural gas demand beginning mid-2013. In mid-2011, public protests arose around income inequality and rising housing and commodity prices. The government formed committees to address some of the grievances but has maintained that it will not engage in deficit spending to satisfy populist demands.
Courtesy: CIA World Factbook