TEL AVIV (Nov. 15)
The cost of living index rose by 24.3 percent during October, another record, but lower than had been feared in forecasts by officials and economists before the announcement. The Central Bureau of Statistics said that inflation by the end of the year would be about 500 percent.
Israelis will feel a drop in their living standards this month. As the increase this month is under 25 percent, the C.O.L. allowance would have increased by only 80 percent of the rise.
But under the economic package deal, employees forego one-third of the “normal” increase. They will thus receive on December 1 only a 12.8 percent increase in gross income.
The October increase does not represent any changes due to the economic freeze. This will begin to be felt only next month, when the C.O.L. rise is expected to be still high, hopefully followed by lower increases as the package deal begins to be felt.