The 2001 budget deficit has apparently greatly exceeded its target. Preliminary data shows the deficit to have been NIS 21.3 billion or 4.6% of gross domestic product. The government deficit target for 2001 had been 1.75% or NIS 8.4 billion. The discrepancy therefore amounts to NIS 12.9 billion.
The difference stemmed from the global economic slowdown and Israel's recession, also affected by the political situation. These factors caused a sharp drop in tax collection, as well as an increase in defense expenses. Accountant General Nir Gilad stated that 0.5% of the deviation from the deficit target was caused by the delay in the transfer of US aid.