Data released by the Central Bureau of Statistics showed Monday that due to weakening consumer demand, Israeli annual inflation slipped to a 1.3% rate in March from 1.5% in February, its lowest level since last July and well below the middle of the government's 1-3% target.
Month-on-month, the consumer price index edged up 0.2% in March, after staying flat in the previous month. Consumer price inflation slowed more than economists expected in March.
Economists had forecast a more modest deceleration to 1.4%. The CPI in March showed increases in the costs of housing (+0.8%), transportation and communications (+0.5%), gasoline/petrol (+1.4%) and education, culture and entertainment (+0.9%). These increases were partly offset by decreases in prices of fruits and vegetables (-2.9%), food ex F&V (-0.4%), clothing and footwear (-1.1%) and health care (-0.2%).