Israel Might Check Inflation

Israel might — with luck — be able to keep its inflation rate for calendar year 1981 down to two digits, economic experts said today after publication of official inflation figures for November.

The November figure was 5.8 percent, bringing the 12-month total for November-to-November to 103.6 percent. But the December-to-December figure may be below 100 percent if the government succeeds in maintaining the present slight downward trend, these experts said.

Based on the November figure, government officials issued tables for cost of living increments to be paid to all wage and salary earners on their January salaries to cover the October-to-December quarter. The C.O.L. increase is 17.8 percent. Tax brackets and child allowances are also adjusted according to the C.O.L. index.

Histadrut secretary general Yeruham Meshel said the monthly inflation figure was no longer a true reflection of the state of the economy because the government was using artificial means to keep it down.

More indicative and much more worrying to the Histadrut, said Meshel, was the unemployment figure: November showed a 14 percent rise in the number of unemployed over the previous month. Some 40,000 people sought work at labor exchanges during that month, the highest for the whole of 1981.

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