Fennel and Cabbage Push Up CPI in October

The consumer price index for October was released yesterday evening. On the one hand, the results show the Bank of Israel's efforts to cool off the boiling housing market have been effective. On the other hand are violent swings in fresh produce.

The CPI rose 0.3% in October, the Central Bureau of Statistics said. If the housing index is excluded, the CPI increased 0.7%. In other words, housing prices continued to dominate the index - and as measured by the stats bureau, they fell sharply last month, when the housing index dropped 1.1%.

The index of fresh fruit eased 1% in October. But fresh vegetables shot up 7.3% in price. Among the more striking increases in vegetable prices are fennel, which rose 95% in October, and cabbage, which increased by 19%. On the other hand, avocado prices fell by 14.8%.

Prices of clothing and shoes rose by more than 6%. Prices of tickets to classical music concerts shot up 9.2%, but on the flip side, prices of carpets fell by 5.1%, and the price of radishes tumbled 9%. The price of bread increased by 1.2%.

No rate hike for Dec.

Forecasters expect Bank of Israel interest rates for December to stay unchanged at 2% and Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer reinforced that opinion yesterday. Inflation expectations have been rising, he said, but there is no need to take action against it now. The central bank will keep an eye on inflation, and will take steps when needed, the governor reassured. He added that the economy is growing by a decent pace of nearly 4% a year.