Israel sees $50.4 billion budget deficit in 2020 — largest in history

Israel’s budget deficit for the year 2020 was its highest ever, at NIS 160.3 billion ($50.4 billion) — 11.7 percent of its GDP, the Finance Ministry says.

The huge deficit — some three times higher than that of 2019 — was expected due to the severe economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Percentage-wise, the deficit is one of the highest in the world, Ynet reports, expected to be surpassed only by the US, Canada, the UK, Iceland and Australia.

In some good news, the GDP only dropped by some 3.3%, the ministry assesses — a better state of affairs than had been feared.

Finance Minister Israel Katz holds a press conference at the Finance Ministry in Jerusalem on July 1, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)