Survey: 83% of Israelis satisfied with their lives

September 04, 2003

CONTENTS

1. "Survey: 83% of Israelis satisfied with their lives" (Ha'aretz, September 3, 2003)
2. The Economist magazine: Israeli recovery in second half of 2004 (Globes business newspaper, August 31, 2003)
3. Procter & Gamble may expand investment, purchasing in Israel (Globes business newspaper, September 3, 2003)
4. Tourism Ministry reports rise in incoming tourism (Globes business newspaper, August 24, 2003)
5. "Yediot Ahronot: Tel Aviv world's 30th most expensive city - survey" (Globes business newspaper, August 24 2003)
6. "Yediot Ahronot: Israelis spent $430m in US in 2002" (Globes business newspaper, August 19, 2003)



[Note by Tom Gross]

This is one of six emails I am sending today, detailing recent "human interest" stories from Israel. This email contains 6 stories relating to economic matters, with summaries first.

Even though another Israeli was shot dead at random in an ambush near Jenin today, it seems life is not all bad in Israel. (The killing was claimed by Fatah, just hours before Fatah leader Abu Mazen addressed Palestinian Authority lawmakers.) Life is not as bad for many Palestinians, too, as the Western media often portrays it. However, it would no doubt be a lot better if a Palestinian leadership emerged that was truly interested in putting an end to terrorism and making a real peace with Israel. An internationally-recognized and Israeli-recognized independent Palestinian state would no doubt quickly follow.

SUMMARIES

1. "Survey: 83% of Israelis satisfied with their lives" (Ha'aretz, September 3, 2003). A survey made in 2002 showed that 83 percent of all adult Israelis are satisfied or very satisfied with their lives. The survey, commissioned by the Budgets Division of the Finance Ministry, and carried out by the Central Bureau of Statistics, was conducted among 7,000 Israelis across the country, aged 20 years or older.

2. "The Economist magazine: Israeli recovery in second half of 2004 -- predicts 2.5% growth in 2004 and a 5.3% of GDP budget deficit in 2003." (Globes business newspaper, August 31, 2003). The "Economist Intelligence Unit" predicts that Israel's economic growth will accelerate to 2.5% in 2004 as domestic demand and exports pick up slightly. The report is dated August 28. The "Economist Intelligence Unit" revised its growth forecast for 2004 to 2.5%, in line with the Ministry of Finance forecast, compared with weak growth of 0.8% in 2003.

3. "Procter & Gamble may expand investment, purchasing in Israel. Procter & Gamble Israel CEO Jose Carlos Gonzalez Hurtado says the company is committed to Israel." (Globes business newspaper, September 3, 2003). Gonzalez Hurtado said the company "is committed to Israel, despite the problems a multinational company faces when it wants to open a business in Israel." He added that Procter & Gamble may expand its investment and broaden its activities in Israel, by increasing its purchases from Israeli companies. Proctor & Gamble opened its Israeli office in September 2001.

4. "Tourism Ministry reports rise in incoming tourism. 519,900 tourists entered Israel in the first seven months of 2003." (Globes business newspaper, August 24, 2003). 113,000 tourists entered Israel in July 2003, up 54% over July 2002 and slightly greater than the figure for July 2001. The numbers of incoming tourists in April, May and June of this year were up 17%, 36% and 44%, respectively, over the same months last year.

5. "Yediot Ahronot: Tel Aviv world's 30th most expensive city - survey." The survey by UBS finds that Oslo is the most expensive city in the world, knocking Tokyo off top spot. (Globes business newspaper, August 24, 2003). The "Yediot Ahronot" Hebrew daily reports that in Oslo even a visit to the public restroom costs 10 kroner (NIS 5.50).

6. "Yediot Ahronot: Israelis spent $430m in US in 2002" (Globes business newspaper, August 19, 2003). The Travel Industry Association of America sent President Bush a list of 22 leading countries of origin of foreign visitors in 2002. Israel was ranked 18th, with 263,097 visitors, amounting to 9.8% of all Israelis traveling to distant destinations overseas.

 



FULL ARTICLES

SURVEY: 83% OF ISRAELIS SATISFIED WITH THEIR LIVES

Survey: 83% of Israelis satisfied with their lives
By Moti Bassok
Ha'aretz
September 3, 2003

A social survey made in 2002 showed that 83 percent of all adult Israelis are satisfied or very satisfied with their lives. The survey, commissioned by the Budgets Division of the Finance Ministry, and carried out by the Central Bureau of Statistics, was conducted among 7,000 Israelis across the country, aged 20 years or older.

In terms of economic satisfaction, the survey showed that the older you are, the more likely you are to be satisfied with your lot - 64 percent of those 75 years old or older were satisfied with their economic status, while 56 percent of those 65-74 years old were satisfied, and only half of those in other age groups where satisfied.

However in households in which gross monthly income was less than NIS 2,000 per person, 77 percent were satisfied with their lives, with satisfaction declining with increasing age. In households in which gross monthly income per person was NIS 4,000 or more, 91 percent were satisfied or very satisfied with their lives and 38 percent of this group believed that their economic situation would improve.

Among those interviewed, 53 percent expressed optimism about the future, while 33 percent believed that their lives would not change, and 14 percent believed that their lives would change for the worse.

Among survey participants with academic education, 88 percent expressed satisfaction with their lives, compared to 66 percent of interviewees with no formal education.

The percentage of those expressing satisfaction with life was equal among married and non-married people, 85 percent, although the satisfaction rate was lower among divorced people (64 percent) and widows and widowers (64 percent).

In terms of health, the survey showed that 77 percent of the population defined its health as good or very good, although satisfaction with health declines with age and with lower income. Health problems, which were reported by 34 percent of those interviewed, were said to be more troublesome to people with lower incomes.

Among working adults, 82 percent reported that they were satisfied or very satisfied with their work. Among Jews, the rate of satisfaction was 82 percent as opposed to 73 percent among Arabs. Satisfaction with work was equal among those born in Israel and veteran immigrants. Among the immigrants, only 71 percent of those who arrived during the 1990s were satisfied, as opposed to 85 percent of immigrants who have lived in Israel for a longer period of time.

Satisfaction with work is greatest among people with higher education - 85 percent of those with academic education were reportedly satisfied with their professional lives, as opposed to 79 percent of those with a high school education or less.

Unemployment is a concern that was raised in the survey - 17 percent of the respondents worried that their jobs were in danger, 16 percent of Jews and 25 percent of Arabs. Among those who feared losing their jobs, 56 percent believed that they would have little or no chance of finding new work, at least not at their present income.

The survey revealed that 1 percent of adult Israelis do not have family, and that 0.5 percent do not meet family members or speak to them on the telephone. Among those who maintain family ties, 94 percent are satisfied with them. Of the adult population, 14 percent reported having no friends.

Among those who reported having friends, almost everyone expressed satisfaction with the relationship. However, 32 percent of interviewees reported feeling lonely often or sometimes. Women feel lonely more often than men, 38 percent against 26 percent, seniors more than younger people, and immigrants more than native-born Israelis. Thirteen percent of those interviewed said they had nowhere to turn in time of crisis.

Regarding housing, 80 percent of the population is satisfied with their housing; and 83 percent reported satisfactory relations with their neighbors. Among immigrants from the 1990s, 69 percent were satisfied with their housing as opposed to 86 percent of those born in Israel and 83 percent of veteran immigrants. On the matter of personal safety, 74 percent reported feeling secure walking at night around their neighborhood.

The survey revealed that 6 percent of the population defined itself as ultra-Orthodox, 10 percent as religious, 13 percent as religious-traditional, and 43 percent as non-religious.

Among Arab Israelis, 10 percent identified themselves as very religious, 49 percent as religious, 22 percent as not very religious, and 20 percent as non-religious.

 

"THE ECONOMIST": ISRAELI RECOVERY IN SECOND HALF OF 2004

"The Economist": Israeli recovery in second half of 2004
The "Economist Intelligence Unit" predicts 2.5% growth in 2004 and a 5.3% of GDP budget deficit in 2003.

By Zeev Klein
Published by Globes
August 31, 2003

The "Economist Intelligence Unit" predicts that Israel's economic growth will accelerate to 2.5% in 2004 as domestic demand and exports pick up slightly. The report is dated August 28. The "Economist Intelligence Unit" revised its growth forecast for 2004 to 2.5%, in line with the Ministry of Finance forecast, compared with weak growth of 0.8% in 2003.

The "Economist Intelligence Unit" states that renewed growth is contingent upon increased exports and domestic demand, but the signs of export growth are less than predicted. The "Economist Intelligence Unit" states that the recovery in tourism, and the export of services, due to the rise in demand for high-tech products, should offset the decline in government consumption.

The "Economist Intelligence Unit" estimates that the budget deficit will reach 5.3% of GDP, or NIS 27 billion, in 2004, almost double the official target. The "Economist Intelligence Unit" believes that the government will not meet its 3% deficit target for 2004, because the coalition structure will not permit deep cuts in government spending.

" The government has begun to implement reforms introduced in the May 2003 economic reform plan. However, further deep fiscal cuts will be required in the 2004 budget if the deficit target of 3% of GDP for that year is to be met," states the "Economist Intelligence Unit", adding that a budget cut of NIS 11.5 billion will be necessary to meet the 3% deficit target for 2004.

 

PROCTOR & GAMBLE MAY EXPAND INVESTMENT, PURCHASING IN ISRAEL

Procter & Gamble may expand investment, purchasing in Israel

Procter & Gamble Israel CEO Jose Carlos Gonzalez Hurtado: Proctor & Gamble is committed to Israel.

By Hadas Manor
Published by Globes
September 3, 2003

Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) may expand its investment and broaden its activities in Israel, by increasing its purchases from Israeli companies. Proctor & Gamble vice president will consider the matter on an upcoming visit to Israel. Procter & Gamble Israel CEO Jose Carlos Gonzalez Hurtado made the comments at a meeting yesterday with Minister of Industry Trade and Labor Ehud Olmert. Olmert asked Proctor & Gamble to expand its investment in Israel, through cooperation with, and purchases from, Israeli companies.

Gonzalez Hurtado said Proctor & Gamble "is committed to Israel, despite the problems a multinational company faces when it wants to open business in Israel."

Gonzalez Hurtado told Olmert that the Israeli market was attractive for multinational companies, which considered Israel to be a dynamic, competitive, and knowledgeable market with promising growth potential. Nevertheless, multinational companies face certain obstacles, some of them bureaucratic.

Gonzalez Hurtado added that the immediate beneficiary of the improved situation would be the Israeli consumer, who will be exposed to a broader range of high quality products, as in other countries.

Proctor & Gamble opened its Israeli office in September 2001, subsequently expanding its market share and intensifying competition for a range of consumer products, such as disposable diapers. Proctor & Gamble sells the premium Pampers diaper brand.

 

TOURISM MINISTRY REPORTS RISE IN INCOMING TOURISM

Tourism Ministry reports rise in incoming tourism
519,900 tourists entered Israel in the first seven months of 2003.
Published by Globes
August 24, 2003

Recent statistics indicate that the trend of a recovery in the movement of tourists to Israel is continuing. 113,000 tourists entered Israel in July 2003, up 54% over July 2002 and slightly greater than the figure for July 2001.

The numbers of incoming tourists in April, May and June of this year were up 17%, 36% and 44%, respectively, over the same months last year.

519,900 tourists entered Israel in the first seven months of 2003, a 10% increase over the same period last year.

Minister of Tourism Benny Elon said that current data strengthens ministry estimates that approximately 1.2 million tourists will enter Israel this year.

 

TEL AVIV WORLD'S 30TH MOST EXPENSIVE CITY

"Yediot Ahronot": Tel Aviv world's 30th most expensive city - survey
The survey by UBS finds that Oslo is the most expensive city in the world.
Published by Globes
August 24, 2003

The Yediot Ahronot Hebrew daily reports that a new UBS survey ranks Oslo as the most expensive city in the world. Nothing there is free even a visit to the public restroom costs 10 kroner (NIS 5.50).

Oslo has now passed Tokyo, the leader in the preceding survey, as the most expensive city in the world. Tokyo was in third place in the current survey.

The survey placed Hong Kong in second place and New York in fourth, followed by Copenhagen and London. Tel Aviv came a respectable 30th. The cheapest cities in the survey were Buenas Aires and Bombay.

UBS's Prices and Earnings survey compares income and the cost of living , based on a basket of 111 products and services, including food, clothing, public transportation, and housing.

 

ISRAELIS SPENT $430M IN US IN 2002

"Yediot Ahronot": Israelis spent $430m in US in 2002
Published by Globes
August 19, 2003

According to figures sent to US President George W. Bush as part of the struggle against the administration's stricter visa policy.

Hebrew daily "Yediot Ahronot" cites figures sent to US President George W. Bush indicating that Israeli visitors to the US spent $430 million in 2002. The report was part of the struggle being waged by Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) against the administration's stricter visa policy.

TIA sent President Bush a list of 22 leading countries of origin of foreign visitors in 2002. Israel was ranked 18th, with 263,097 visitors, amounting to 9.8% of all Israelis traveling to distant destinations overseas.

All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.