CPI rises 0.2% in December

Despite rising above expectations last month, the CPI rose by only 1.6% in 2012, in the lower half of the government's target range.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.2% in December, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported this evening. This was above the expectations of the 13 analysts polled by "Bloomberg" who had expected the CPI to remain unchanged. This means that the CPI rose by 1.6% in 2012, in the lower half of the government's 1-3% target range.

The December CPI figure reflects annual inflation of 1.4%. In December, clothing and footwear prices rose by 10.5%, processed fruit and vegetables by 1.9%, food by 0.6% and housing expenses by 0.4%.

On the other hand, fresh fruit and vegetable prices fell 3.2%, transp[ort and communications fell 1.1%, household furniture and equipment fell 0.7% and entertainment and leisure services fell 0.7%.

In 2012 as a whole, housing expenses rose by 3.4%, electricity prices rose 8.8%, fuel prices rose 5.1%, and cigarette prices jumped 21%. Home rentals rose 2.8% over the year and health services prices rose 5%. Despite the "cottage cheese" protests, dairy prices 4.1% in 2012, and municipal taxes rose 3%.

In the other direction mobile phone tariffs fell 10% in 2012 thanks to the reforms of outgoing Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon, and reforms in preschool education reduced prices in that sector by 6%. Internet service prices fell 10% in 2012, TV prices fell 9.6% due to fall in demand, and furniture prices fell 2.6%. Cucumber prices fell 19.7% in 2012 and tomatoes ended the year 29.6% cheaper. Fresh fruit prices fell 9.7%.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 15, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

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