Stanley Fischer at press conference in Jerusalem_311.
(photo credit: Reuters)
Israelis pay considerably more for consumer goods than their counterparts in the
rest of the developed world, and that gap appears to be growing despite last
year’s protests over the cost of living, according to a report released
Wednesday by the Bank of Israel.
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The price of food was 15 percent higher
in Israel than the OECD average in 2008, the most recent year for which figures
exist, and almost 20% higher than it was in countries with similar levels of
wealth, the report said. Since then the price of food has risen about 10% more
in Israel than in euro-bloc countries, it added. It based that estimate on
changes to consumer prices, the shekel-euro exchange rate and the respective
levels of GDP per capita in Israel and Europe.
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value-added tax (16%) and a lack of competition for certain products are partly
to blame for the high price of food, the report said. Vehicles, hotels,
restaurants and cultural and leisure services were also found to cost
significantly more than in other developed economies.
for 2008 by the OECD and reproduced in the report showed that Israelis paid more
in almost every category than in other developed countries. Vehicles were 70%
more expensive in Israel than the OECD average, nonalcoholic drinks cost 48%
more, dairy and egg products cost 44% more and meat cost 28% more.
fruit, vegetables and communications products were cheaper in Israel than the
average. This was despite Israel ranking No. 23 for GDP per capita in the
34-nation bloc in 2008, at $27,464.