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Cost of Living Rises Slightly

Israel’s cost of living index rose by only two-tenths of a percent in July, with inflation rising by 2.8 percent since the beginning of the year, the Central Bureau of Statistics announced Tuesday.

Finance Minister Avraham Shohat welcomed the surprisingly low index and estimated that annual inflation could be the lowest in years, amounting to less than 10 percent.

The government has set a target range of 8 percent to 11 percent annual inflation.

Seasonal drops in the prices of fruits and vegetables, clothing and footwear contributed to the low increase.

Manufacturers and industrialists welcomed the rate and called on the Bank of Israel to respond with an appropriate drop in interest rates.