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a supermarket in Jerusalem

Israel's Gas, Electric, and Food Prices Climb as Consumer Price Index Jumps

Gasoline and electricity prices were set to rise on Tuesday, February 1, reflecting global price hikes brought on in part by supply shortages, steeper raw-material costs and decreased workforce availability.

Israel’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 2.8% in 2021 and increased another 0.1% to 2.9% this year as of January 30, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported Monday, January 31.

Prices for products and services are rising throughout the country. Last month, Osem, one of Israel’s largest food producers, told supermarkets it would be increasing the prices of its products by as much as 5%, citing an increase in the cost of materials, packaging and transportation.

“This is unprecedented,” Osem said. “After an extended period during which we have absorbed the price increase, we are forced to update our retail prices.”

The cost of gasoline has spiked in tandem with the increased price of oil on global markets. The maximum price of 95-octane gasoline was set to rise by NIS 0.34 to NIS 6.71 per liter on February 1 at midnight, the Energy Ministry said. The price of one barrel of Brent crude oil is currently $91.31. Over the past week, it has risen $4.61, or more than 5%.

Electricity tariffs were set to rise an average of 5.7% on February 1 at midnight, the Public Utilities Authority said. It attributed the increase to an almost tripling of world coal prices, from $86 per ton to $226 per ton in the past year.

The rise in energy prices has led to a significant increase in electricity tariffs in many countries, the Public Utilities Authority said. More severely impacted are Sweden, with a 35% rise, the UK (34%), Belgium (18%) and Austria (14%).

Israel, in part due to its reduction of coal use in recent years, is among the countries with lower increases, including the Czech Republic (9%), Italy (6%) and Germany (5%).

While supply issues and raw-material costs are partly to blame, the coronavirus pandemic’s effect on consumer demand also plays a significant role in the CPI’s increase, according to Prof. Danit Ein-Gar of Tel Aviv University’s Coller School of Management. (JPost/ VFI News)

The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender. - Proverbs 22:7