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Dun and Bradstreet has lowered its growth forecast for the Israeli economy for 2006 as a result of the war in the North. The new forecast is for 3.8% growth ? down from 4.5%.

However, D&B did not change its rating for the Israeli economy.

Recently D&B Israel conducted a survey showing a drastic increase in the number of firms in danger of going out of business. ? up to 26% in August, from only 23% in July ? before the war started.

D&B expects a further deterioration in the number of firms in trouble, if the mechanism for compensating companies as a result of the war is not speeded up.

In particular, small and medium firms are at much greater risk, as are those in the North.

Sectors particularly hard hit were retailers in the North, but also many wholesalers whose customers could not conduct regula business during the war.

Also, the agriculture sector suffered disproportionately ? 36% of firms are in danger of closing. The number for tourism is close behind at 35%.

Pubs and restaurants, traditionally problematic areas, are also in serious danger.