JERUSALEM (Jun. 16)
The consumer price index rose by 2.1 percent last month bringing the total cost of living increase to 14.2 percent since the beginning of the year. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, last month’s price hike was due mainly to a six percent rise in the price of fruit and vegetables. The prices of these items are expected to decline this month. The Bureau said it was too early to determine what effect the new value added tax (VAT) will have on living costs. The levy, which is supposed to go into effect July 1, is expected in some quarters to cause a 5-6 percent rise in the price index.