Bread to Rise Again

Government-regulated bread prices are expected to increase in early 2008 by 10% after the recent rise of 10.6%. However horrifying consumers may find that prospect, they should stand comforted: A representative for the bakeries in their negotiations with the state said that the bakeries are demanding a 50% increase by January.

The latest increase was implemented by bakeries unilaterally and approved after the fact. This happened after Minister of Industry, Trade, and Labor Eliyahu Yishai avoided approving the politically problematic step after having retracted his plan to compensate welfare recipients for the price increase.

Among the breads whose price is controlled include white bread, so-called "dark" bread, wholewheat, sliced, and standard challah. The prices of these were set to be deregulated - but the government reversed on its resolution two weeks ago. The ministry explained that the bakers had threatened to raise relevant bread prices by 50% the second they could.