Israel's inflation rate hits 5.4 pct, highest in over 14 years

Israel Materials 16 February 2023 02:34 (UTC +04:00)
Israel's inflation rate hits 5.4 pct, highest in over 14 years

Israel's year-on-year inflation rose to 5.4 percent in January, the highest since October 2008, according to figures released by the country's Central Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday, Trend reports citing Xinhua.

The 12-month inflation figure continued to move away from the government target ranging from 1 to 3 percent. The last time the figure was within the range was in December 2021.

Israel's inflation rise has not been curbed even though the central bank increased the base interest rate from 0.1 percent in April last year to the current 3.75 percent. According to analysts, the interest rate may be raised again for the eighth consecutive time on Feb. 20.

Asher Blass, the former chief economist at the Bank of Israel, told Xinhua that the main factor for the continuous inflation rise in Israel is the global high prices of raw materials like fuel, gas, coal, and steel.

He explained that there were problems in the supply chain amid high demands, and it took a while to get everything running again, causing raw materials to become more expensive.

However, the inflation rate in Israel is still lower than that in many other countries, such as the 8.5 percent average in the eurozone countries.

Omer Moav, a professor of economics at the University of Warwick in Britain and Reichman University in Israel, told Xinhua that Israel's relatively low inflation is related to the country's export surplus, which has been strengthening the Israeli shekel.

"When the shekel became stronger, the prices of imports were reduced," he said, adding he is confident that the country's inflation will fall within the government's target range "unless something unforeseeable happens."