New York (Sep. 17)
The cost of living index in Israel rose only 3.9 percent in August, encouraging hope that 1980’s triple-digit inflation will be reduced to double-digit inflation this year, it was reported by David Rotlevy, Israel’s Economic Minister to the U.S.
Current indications are that Israel’s inflation will run to about 95 percent this year, compared to 133 percent in 1980, Rotlevy said. He released the following month-by-month figures for the current year showing that inflation for the first four months of 1981 was 30 percent compared to 17.5 percent the latest four months:
January, 7.3 percent; February, 5.5; March, 4.8; April, 10.7; May, 3.3; June, 2.7; July, 6.1; and August, 3.9.
“Thus far this year, Israel’s inflation is up 53 percent, compared to 69 percent for the first eight months of 1980,” Rotlevy said, adding: “We have every reason to expect that, even with the usual rise in the inflation rate during the last four months of the year, Israel will no longer suffer from triple-digit inflation.”
The government of Israel “is determined to defeat inflation,” Rotlevy said. “The most recent cost-of-living statistics confirm the fact that Finance Minister (Yoram) Aridor’s policies of budgetary restraints, freezing the number of public employees, reducing direct and indirect taxes, encouraging investment and other anti-inflation measures already in effect are working. Slowly but surely, inflation is being brought under control in Israel.” Aridor is expected to arrive in Washington for talks with Reagan Administration officials next week, Rotlevy said.