Fischer Expected to Keep Interest at 0.5%

Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer is expected to announce tomorrow evening that the base interest rate will remain unchanged at 0.5% for June, keeping the figure in place for the third month in a row.

Economic officials said over the weekend they expected the rate to remain steady for a few months at least, even though the Consumer Price Index rose 1% in April and is expected to climb 0.3% in May and 0.4% in June.

Bank Hapoalim analysts forecast that inflation will not exceed 0.9% for the full year, below the government's annual target of between 1.0% and 3.0%. The officials said the central bank has been taking pains in recent days to confront the unexpected and undesirable strengthening of the shekel against the dollar and euro.