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April Inflation Higher Than Expected

An unexpectedly high increase in the cost-of-living index in April has caused concern in government, labor and management circles.

The rise, announced Sunday, was 2.7 percent, which works out to an annual inflation rate of over 20 percent, double the rate hoped for by the Finance Ministry.

The culprit was a net rise of more than 20 percent in the prices of fruits and vegetables. Tomato prices soared 150 percent. Peppers and other vegetables cost 30 to 40 percent more than last month. They sent the price index well above the anticipated 1 percent increase.

A further increase in the cost of living is expected in May because of the government’s phasing out of several price-support subsidies.

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