The large government deficit has forced the Ministry of Finance to speed up the pace of bond issues, in order to raise funds from the public to finance government activity. In Q1 2002 alone, the ministry plans to raise NIS 13 billion on the local bond market, NIS 5 billion in January and NIS 4 billion each in February and March.

For the sake of comparison, in all of 2001, the government issued NIS 16 billion in bonds, and the deficit is expected to reach 4% of GNP, as opposed to the 1.75% deficit target. The huge gap between the target and reality is attributed primarily to the shortfall in tax collection due to the recession.