JERUSALEM Dec 16 Israel's government raised its
2013 economic growth forecast to 3.5 percent from 3.0 percent on
Sunday, citing the influence of the start of natural gas
The Bank of Israel projects 3.0 percent growth next year.
A U.S.-Israeli consortium led by Noble Energy and
Delek Group is expected to start production from the
Tamar field off Israel's Mediterranean coast, which has an
estimated 274 billion cubic metres (bcm) of reserves, in the
first half of 2013.
Israel's Finance Ministry expects the gas production to
contribute 0.8 percent to gross domestic product next year and 1
percent in 2014. The ministry also set a 2014 GDP growth
estimate of 3.9 percent.
"The extra growth will not ... add to state revenues,"
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said in a statement. "Assuming
the growth forecast is realised ... Israel over the next two
years will continue to lead growth in the Western developed
Israel's economy is expected to grow close to 3.5 percent in