TEL AVIV (Jan. 16)
The cost of living index rose a mere 0.5 percent in December, bringing the Israeli inflation rate for 1988 to 16.4 percent.
That is slightly higher than the 1987 rate, which was 16.1 percent. The figures were released Sunday by the Central Bureau of Statistics.
The government expects a sharp increase, probably 5 percent, in the January price index, which is to be published Feb. 15.
The increase will reflect the devaluation of the shekel in January and the reduction of price subsidies, measures ordered by Finance Minister Shimon Peres soon after he took office.
While inflation is on the rise again, it is small compared to the 1985 rate of 185.1 percent.