Last week Israel's Ministry of Economy and Industry reported that according to the OECD, food prices in the country fell 5% between October 2015 and December 2017, while over the same period there was a rise in food prices in the OECD as a whole. The Ministry of Economy and Industry, however, also stated that Israeli food prices are still 19% higher than the OECD average.
The Ministry of Economy and Industry underlined the news about the fall in prices with the fact that that salaries in Israel have on average risen 3% over the past two years.
Minister of Economy and Industry Eli Cohen was quick to take credit for the price fall on behalf of the government. He said, "The OECD figures are a testimony to the success of government policies in the war against the cost of living and reflect the range of actions by the government and the Ministry of Economy and Industry. Easing regulations, cutting taxes and duties, opening the market to parallel imports, breaking monopolies and overcoming obstacles in regulation are some of the measures taken in the past year by the ministry and the aim is to continue this trend in order to increase the range of products, improve competitiveness and continue to lead in lowering prices."
Many financial analysts and sources in the retail industry expressed surprise at these figures. Indeed the actual OECD report said that between 2014 and 2017 food prices in Israel fell 1.2%. The 5% fall cited by the Ministry of Economy and Industry, also it seems takes into account the rise in prices in OECD countries.
Moreover, the OECD's figures are taken from Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics figures, which in the past "Globes" has found do not always agree with Israeli price databanks.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 1, 2018
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