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Cost of Living Up 0.5 Percent

The cost-of-living index rose by a mere 0.5 percent in March, the Central Bureau of Statistics announced Friday.

Using a 1987 base of 100, the consumer price index now stands at 132.8.

The March increase brought the inflationary rate for the first three months of 1989 to 6.9 percent. This relatively high rate reflects the effects of the devaluation at the beginning of the year and seasonal price increases.

The coming months are expected to show lower increases, providing hope that Israel will attain single-digit inflation for 1989, for the first time in many years.