JERUSALEM (Dec. 16)
The donsumer price index rose by 9.7 percent last month, the Central Bureau of Statistics announced over the weekend. In the past 12 months the index has risen 102 percent. The Treasury avoids predicting future rises, but according to the Histadrut it is now clear that the total rise for this year will be 115 percent. Government economists predicted a 10 percent rise this month.
Finance Minister Yigal Hurwitz insisted on a television interview last Friday that in the coming months the inflationary spiral will halt because he will not print money to satisfy the appetites” of various sectors in the economy. Hurwitz based his forecast of a smaller cost-of-living increase on the slowdown in the economy.
However, he will have to cope with the government’s own price hikes. Energy Ministry sources indicated that fuel prices would be increased by 30 percent by the end of this month because of oil price hikes announced over the weekend by Mexico which is now supplying Israel with some of its oil.