October 2, 2017 / 10:58 AM / a year ago

Israel's central bank fills vacant posts on monetary policy committee

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The Israeli government has appointed two economics professors to join the Bank of Israel’s monetary policy committee, returning it to its intended size of six members after several years with just four.

Zvi Hercowitz and Moshe Hazan, Israeli economists who have worked abroad, were appointed to the committee for four-year terms, the central bank said on Monday.

The monetary committee has been operating for about two years with just four members. It is meant to have six - the central bank governor, deputy governor, another central bank employee, and three external members.

The third non-central bank member, economist Reuben Gronau, was also reappointed.

The monetary policy committee was quick to lower interest rates at the onset the of the global financial crisis, but never adopted negative rates. It has also intervened aggressively in the foreign exchange market to try to weaken the shekel.

The interest rate level, currently at 0.1 percent, is not expected to rise until late 2018 or early 2019, when inflation is expected to move back into the 1-3 percent target range.

The next Bank of Israel interest rate decision is scheduled for October 19.

Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

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