Tel. Aviv (Apr. 15)
— The cost of living index rose by only 4.8 percent in March, the lowest figure for March in the past three years, the Central Buredu of Statistics announced today.
March is a traditionally low month for C.O.L. index increases. The figure was 5.1 percent last year and 5.6 percent two years ago. At the rate of increase since the beginning of the year–24.4 percent–inflation is presently running at a rate at “only” 90 percent a year, compared with 1980’s over 130 percent figure.
But Bureau spokesman David Neuman pointed out that the wholesale price index, which forecasts future rates and was fairly low last month, included clothing price increases of between 30 and 50 percent which would be mirrored in next month’s consumer index. Municipal rates will also rise by about 200 percent next month, and the some 20 percent C.O.L. increase payments will also affect costs.