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Bank Of Israel – Close Call Between +25 & +50BP Hike

  • The bank of Israel decision is due at 1400GMT/ 1600 local. The Bloomberg survey currently shows that 9/13 analysts are expecting the BOI to hike by 25bps to 4.00%. However, recent developments now sees four analysts calling for a bolder 50bp hike, with market pricing showing similar uncertainty.
  • Data in early February has shown not only an increase in the inflation rate to 5.4% Y/y, above both the consensus and prior reading, but GDP data was significantly higher than expected. Q4 annualized clocked it in at 5.8%, compared to the median survey looking for an increase of 2.5%. Furthermore, on the exchange rate, USDILS has risen 6.5% from the January lows, likely to be an additional headwind for the inflation narrative.
  • Analysts note that Governor Yaron has already alluded to the risk to Israel's bond market funding from a contentious overhaul of the judicial system. Offering investors a higher return and demonstrating a commitment to its inflation target with another 50bp hike, as they did at the January meeting, could help to limit these risks.

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