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Israel’s Unemployment Rate Falls to Record Low of 5.7%

July 25 (Bloomberg) -- Israel’s unemployment rate declined to a record low of 5.7 percent in May as the economy expanded.

The jobless rate dropped from 5.8 percent in the previous month, preliminary data released today by the Central Bureau of Statistics in Jerusalem showed. Unemployment in May last year was 6.5 percent.

“Consumer spending and manufacturing are continuing to grow,” said Yaniv Hevron, head of macro-strategy at Excellence Nessuah Investment House Ltd. in Ramat Gan, Israel. “Employers feel comfortable and sufficiently confident to continue hiring.”

Israel’s economy is likely to expand 5.2 percent this year the Bank of Israel said on June 1, more than twice the rate forecast by the International Monetary Fund for the U.S. and the Euro zone. Governor Stanley Fischer has been gradually raising the benchmark rate, from a record low of 0.5 percent in August 2009 to 3.25 percent, as the economy recovers from the global recession.

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said a month ago that the 5.8 percent unemployment rate reported for April was a record low.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alisa Odenheimer in Jerusalem at aodenheimer@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: To contact the editor responsible for t Louis Meixler at lmeixler@bloomberg.net.

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