Israel marked its sixth consecutive year of low or negative inflation in 2019. The Central Bureau of Statistics reported on Wednesday that the consumer price index rose just 0.6% last year, down from 0.8% in 2017.
In December 2019, the CPI was unchanged.
Taking into account three years of negative inflation in 2014-16, the CPI has risen just 0.4% since 2013, putting it far below the target ranges of 1% to 3% set by the government.
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In a year of otherwise very low inflation, the May 2019 CPI jumped 0.7% but the following month it fell 0.6%. The biggest price rises for the year came for apparel and shoes, which rose 5.5%. Prices of fresh produce and home furnishings and equipment rose by 2.5%.
The housing cost index, which accounts for nearly a quarter of the total CPI, climbed 2.1%, accelerating from a 1.9% increase in 2018.
By comparison, housing prices, which are not included in the CPI and whose data lag behind it, showed a 0.5% increase in prices over October-November versus September-October. Annualized, that worked out to a 3.4% rise, its fastest in two years,
In terms of 12-month price rises for housing, Tel Aviv led with a 5% increase. The northern district saw a 4.1% increase, the Jerusalem district a 2.8% gain.