update deskIsrael News

2022: Israel’s cost of living was highest in the OECD

However, the Jewish state fell to fourth-most expensive in June 2023.

Shopping at the Rami Levy supermarket in Modi'in, between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Feb. 1, 2022. Photo by Yossi Aloni/Flash90.
Shopping at the Rami Levy supermarket in Modi'in, between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Feb. 1, 2022. Photo by Yossi Aloni/Flash90.

Israel last year had the highest cost of living among the 38 member countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Prices in the Jewish state were 38% higher than the OECD average, according to the report released by the Paris-based group. Switzerland was a close second at 37% above average followed by Iceland at 32%, the United States at 25% and Australia at 23%.

However, the monthly data for June of this year showed Israel falling to fourth in the cost of living rankings, with Switzerland at No. 1 followed by Iceland and Ireland.

“Comparative price level indices are the ratios of purchasing power parities to market exchange rates,” the OECD explains. “At the level of GDP, comparative price levels provide a measure of the differences in the general price levels of countries.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu campaigned on lowering the cost of living ahead of the Nov. 1, 2022, election and in June he chaired the first meeting of the Ministerial Committee on the Fight against the Cost of Living.

“This meeting will be dedicated, first of all, to presenting the problem. Prices in Israel are significantly higher than they are on similar or identical products in most developed countries. There is no objective justification for these gaps,” said Netanyahu.

“Israel does not need to be more expensive than most developed countries. Together with my government colleagues and the professional teams, we will wage a determined battle against the cost of living,” he said.

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