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Fischer Predicts 'Very Rapid' Expansion for Israel's Economy

August 31, 2007. Bloomberg
Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer said he expects the country's economic growth will accelerate.

"All the signals we have are very rapid growth," Fischer said in an interview in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where the Kansas City Fed bank is hosting its annual economic symposium.

Gross domestic product grew at a 6.6 percent annual pace in the first half of the year, the most since the Israeli economy pulled out of recession in 2003. Unemployment has dropped to the lowest in a decade. The nation's banks don't show any signs of suffering from the collapse in demand for securities backed by subprime U.S. mortgages, Fischer said.

"We don't have signs yet that our banks are exposed to subprime markets, certainly not directly," Fischer said.

Fischer is a former deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund, where he helped organize financial rescues for Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea, Russia and Brazil in the late 1990s. From 2002 to 2005, he served as vice chairman of Citigroup Inc.
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