Israeli inflation stood at 5.3 percent in December over the previous 12 months, remaining at a 14-year high for a second consecutive month, and putting further pressure on the Bank of Israel to hike interest rates again next month.
The consumer price index (CPI), a measure of inflation that tracks the average cost of household goods, rose by 0.3% in December, compared with analysts’ expectations of between 0.3% to 0.4%, bringing annual inflation over the past 12 months to 5.3% — similar to the figure in November, according to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics. The annual CPI is the highest since inflation hit 5.5% in October 2008.
The increases were seen in the cost of transportation, which went up 1.1%; housing and medical services, which rose 0.6% each; and apartment maintenance, up 0.2%. These were offset by declines in prices of fresh fruit and vegetables, down 2.8%, culture and entertainment down 1.4%; and clothing and footwear, down 1%, according to the statistics bureau. Since the start of the year, the CPI rose 5.3%, the bureau said.