Industrialists Seek Devaluation of Shekel Against Dollar

Industrial circles here are pressing for a moderate devaluation of the shekel out of fear that the sudden decline of the American dollar in recent weeks will weaken the competitiveness of Israeli products on the American market.

They seek a devaluation of about 5-7 percent. On Wednesday the shekel stood at 1.564 to the dollar.

According to knowledgeable sources, both Finance Minister Moshe Nissim and Michael Bruno, governor of the Bank of Israel, want to avoid devaluation. Nissim said on an army radio interview Wednesday that he does not intend another devaluation. But, the interviewers noted, finance ministers are wont to disguise their intentions, and Nissim did not demur.

The shekel was devalued by 10 percent last January. It has since bounced back by 4 percent against the dollar, but has fallen significantly against the yen and the major European currencies.

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