by Ilan Lazarovich
The price of food in Israel has dropped five percent in the past two years, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reports.
Nevertheless, average food costs in Israel are still 19 percent higher than the average for OECD nations.
The drop in food prices is particularly interesting given that net salaries have risen by three percent in the same time period.
A number of factors have contributed to lower food prices. In 2014, the market for fresh beef was opened to increased imports, which economists from the Finance Ministry say led to drop in beef prices that ranged from 7 percent to 17 percent
The one percent cut to Israel’s Value Added Tax (VAT) and a 3.5 percent cut in corporate taxes, as well as higher caps for imported foodstuffs, also helped lower food prices. Additional actions, such as the revocation of exclusive marketing deals for grocery chains, have also affected food prices.
Economy and Industry Minister Eli Cohen said in response to the publication of the OECD findings that “the OECD figures testify to the success of the government’s success in battling the [high] cost of living.
The government took a series of actions with the goal of lowering the cost of living, and the Economy and Industry Ministry has coordinated these efforts, such as easing regulations, lowering taxes, opening the market for import of similar products and breaking down monopolies.”