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Minister Paints Rosy Economic Picture

Finance Minister Avraham Shohat this week painted a rosy picture of the Israeli economy, predicting that 1995 inflation would be a little more than 8 percent, the lowest in 15 years.

Shohat made the remarks Monday as he presented the 1996 budget before the Knesset.

His predication comes after last week’s announcement by the Central Bureau of Statistics that it expected Israel’s gross national product – the total value of a nation’s annual output of goods and services – to grow this year by 6.8 percent.

Leaders of the Labor governing coalition expected the budget to pass preliminary debate, scheduled for Wednesday, saying that they thought that some members of the Orthodox parties would support it.

Labor leaders also predicted that the budget would pass despite threats by Labor faction members to vote against it unless additional funds are allocated for carious social programs.

The 1996 budget presented totals $57.6 billion.

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