United Nations Report Stresses Israel’s Economic Progress

Israel is the only country in the Middle East in which agricultural progress is not lagging behind the gains in industry and other economic activities, a United Nations report indicated today.

The report on “Economic Developments in the Middle East: 1958-1959, ” was issued by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs as a supplement to a world economic survey. The report said that despite unfavorable weather conditions in several areas, the value of total farm output in Israel rose by 16 percent in 1957-58 and by nearly 14 percent in 1958-59. Some extension in the area under cultivation and a considerable increase in the area under irrigation–7. 7 percent in 1957-58 and 8.9 percent in 1958-59 was reported.

The general index of industrial production, based on 1958 as the base year, rose in the first nine months of 1959 to 110. 3. The value of Israel’s total industrial output in 1959 was provisionally estimated at 1, 940, 000, 000 pounds ($1, 086, 400, 000) compared with a total of 1, 715, 000, 000 pounds ($960, 400, 000) in 1958. UN statisticians indicated they expected this figure to rise in 1960 to 2, 150, 000, 000 pounds ($1, 204, 000, 000) if prices remained constant.

Other UN projections were. through 1965, a 250 percent increase in output of minerals, a 100 percent increase in output of chemicals and vehicles, a 300 percent Jump in production of machinery and a 50 to 90 percent increase in “all other branches” of Israel production.

Data in the report indicated that expenditures from the Israel development budget have risen steadily from 35, 200, 000 Israel pounds ($19, 712, 000) in 1949-50 to 438, 400, 000 pounds ($245, 504, 000) in 1958-59. For fiscal 1959-60, the outlay is expected to rise to 506, 500, 000 pounds ($282, 640, 000).

Through 1959, Israel received $296, 000, 000 in United States grants; $227, 000, 000 in United States credits; and $730, 000, 000 in reparations and individual restitution payments from West Germany. The report warned that much of Israel’s overseas income “declined in 1959 and is likely to continue to decrease in the coming years.”

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