S&P raises Israel’s credit rating


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Standard & Poor’s has upgraded Israel’s credit rating to A+.

The new rating, which was issued Saturday, means that Israel’s Finance Ministry can borrow at a lower interest rate with lower financing costs. Israel’s rating had been A; the highest rating is AAA.

S&P said, "The rating action reflects our view of Israel’s improved economic policy flexibility as a result of strong growth and careful macroeconomic management," S& P said.

The agency went on to say that "Israel is on a credible path toward continued government debt burden reduction and stronger external indicators."

S&P said it did not believe that the social protests in Israel would affect the country’s budget or budget deficit.

Stanley Fischer, the governor of the Bank of Israel, in reaction to the upgraded credit rating, said the Israeli economy would continue to justify the confidence given by the upgrade and that the bank through its monetary policies would target price stability, employment, growth and financial stability.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that the upgrade was the international economic community’s "certificate of honor and of responsibility regarding investments in Israel."

"This is a message to investors. This is a good country," he said. "This is a country that in complete contrast to the global trend is improving and maintaining a correct and responsible economy, and therefore it is worthwhile to invest in it."

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