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The state of the global economy is terrible, Bank of Israel governor Stanley Fischer told a class of high-schoolers on the Keshet television show "Studying Together" yesterday. Fischer's segment of the show was devoted to teaching the young of southern Israel about economics and the global financial crisis.

On the bright side, Fischer predicted that the United States will start to show signs of recovery before the year is out. On the downside, the Bank of Israel will shortly be lowering its growth forecast of 1.5% for the country in 2009, he said

Israel's economy will not be able to recover before the global economy picks up, the governor noted. U.S. economic growth will be sparked by plans that the Obama administration means to institute, Fischer said, adding that the first signs of rebound are modest and people tend not to notice them. Furthermore, the main thrust of rallying will come about in 2010, he predicted.

As for Operation Cast Lead's impact on Israel's economy, it depends how long it lasts, Fischer explained: If it ends soon, its impact will be small. Israel is also deeply affected by the state of the global economy, as 45% of its GDP is export-oriented, the governor said.