Israel's economic leaders today decided to establish a committee to design a package deal for the economy.

The panel will consist of representatives from the Finance Ministry, the Bank of Israel, the Histadrut labor federation and the Manufacturers Association.

Finance Minister Silvan Shalom, Bank of Israel governor David Klein, Histadrut labor federation chief Amir Peretz and the president of the Manufacturers Association, Oded Tyrah held a three-hour meeting this morning at the treasury in Jerusalem.

They said that some progress had been made toward reaching a package deal between government, the central bank, employers and labor.

Asked if he would agree to lower interest rates as part of a package deal, Klein dodged. He said that today's economic conditions are totally unlike the climate prevailing when previous package deals had been consolidated. But, he added, clearly monetary policy would be a component in any deal.

Labor leader Amir Peretz said that the final deal, if any, must not be at the expense of workers.