The additional growth forecast was in anticipation of the start of natural gas production in the Tamar field off Israel’s Mediterranean coast, which has an estimated 274 billion cubic meters (bcm) of reserves, in the first half of 2013.
“Assuming the growth forecast is realized ... Israel over the next two years will continue to lead growth in the Western developed world,” Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said in a statement.
The Israeli economy also received encouraging 2012 quarterly news.
According to Globes, Israel swung to a balance of payments surplus of $800 million in the third quarter of 2012 from a $642 million deficit in the previous quarter and a $1.3 billion deficit in the first quarter.
The balance of payments is an accounting record of all monetary transactions between a country and the rest of the world, such as payments for imports and exports of goods, services, financial capital and transfers.