Israel's consumer price index rose 0.9% in April from March, boosted by broad-based gains to exceed expectations, and stood 3% higher year-on-year, decelerating from 3.2% inflation in March, Central Bureau of Statistics data showed on Friday.
According to the CBS, the prices of clothing and footwear rose by 11.4% in April, the prices of fruit and vegetables were up 1.9%, the prices of apartments rose by 1%, the prices of transportation were up 0.6% and the prices of food saw a 0.4% increase.
The prices of milk and dairy products dropped by 0.5%, car insurance prices were down 1%, the prices of bread dropped by 1%, and the prices of cucumbers saw a dramatic decline of 19.8%.
Monthly CPI has risen in 10 of the past 14 months but the annual rate has eased in each of the past four months, alleviating some pressure on the Bank of Israel to raise interest rates further, analysts say. However, such a high monthly rise in April could prompt another rate hike later in May.
The annual rate fell back to within a 1-3% target for the first time since last October. It peaked at a 3.9% rate in December. The central bank had said it expected a rate of 3% or lower this month.
Analysts expect inflation to ease to below 2% in 2010 as the Bank of Israel further raises short-term interest rates and as housing prices stabilize.
The central bank has raised its key lending rate to 1.5% from 0.5% last August, including a quarter-point increase on March 28, to combat rising inflation expectations. It has said gradual rate hikes were needed and left rates steady on April 26.
The April CPI figures were above a consensus forecast in a Reuters poll that predicted a monthly rise of 0.6% and an annual inflation rate of 2.8%.