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U.S. Department of Commerce Survey Discloses Increased Cost of Living in Palestine

A survey of retail food prices in the principal cities of Palestine has disclosed that the cost of living has risen to unprecedented heights, according to a report appearing in the current issue of the Foreign Commerce Weekly, an official organ of the Department of Commerce.

The survey, which was taken in Jerusalem, Jaffa and Haifa, indicates that prices in Jewish markets have increased by 152.9 percent, while prices in Arab markets have risen by 211.8 percent. Chief causes for the inflation are a decrease in the supply of consumer goods as a result of the war, increased purchasing power because of military spending and the smaller civilian food supply which has resulted from purchases by the armed forces, the Commerce Department report says. It points out that families with fixed incomes, especially in the lower income brackets, are suffering extreme hardships.

Some attempt has been made to alleviate the situation by the appointment of a Wages Committees which recommended “cost-of-living allowances.” These allowances are sums above the basic wage paid to the employee on the basis of the current price index. However, since such allowances have not been made mandatory, they have not improved the situation much, the survey adds.

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