Tivuch Ida

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Gasoline prices to fall sharply at end of month

By Hedy Cohen


Gasoline prices will fall by about NIS 0.55 to NIS 0.60 per liter at the end of December, according to energy-market sources. The fall follows the 40 percent plunge in oil prices on world markets over the past few months.

The price of a liter of 95 -octane gasoline at self-service pumps is currently NIS 6.90, after falling by NIS 0.15 at the beginning of December and by NIS 0.27 at the beginning of November.The pice of a liter of 95-octane gasoline at sef-service pumkps will be about NIS 6.30 from January 1. Fuel prices in Israel are now at their lowest in more than four years.

However, the price of oil on global markets is not responsible for 100% of the price at Israeli pumps. The price of oil on the Lavera international oil market in France, four days before the start of a new month, is responsible for only 35% for the price set on the first of each month. The biggest component in the price is the excise tax imposed by the Finance Ministry, which comprises 41% of the price we pay for gasoline, diesel and other fuels.

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Shekel Jumps versus dollar

By Steven Scheer

The shekel strengthened by 1.2 percent against the dollar on Tuesday in what might be the start of a correction after the greenback failed to break through the NIS 4 level.

The shekel had shed 2.5%in the past week following the collapse of the governing coalition after just 20 months and the setting of a new election in March.

It has lost about 16% of its value versus the dollar since July, depressed by a combination of weakening Israeli growth, interest-rate cuts and general dollar strength.

“The [ exchange rate] has moved a long way in a short period of time,” said a dealer at a large Israeli bank. “Dollar-shekel was overbought, and fundamentals agree it was over bought, so we are having a correction.”

The Bank of Israel fixed the shekel at 3.9440 per dollar – its most robust level since December 1 – from 3.9910 on Monday. After the fixing, it gained to 3.926

Dealers said the dollar, which surged from below NIS 3.4 in July to touch a 27 – month high on Monday, had tried but failed to break above the NIS 4 level.The dollar has not been worth more than NIS 4 since September 2012.

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Very interesting article about taxes on food and homes written on December 1,2014

Netanyahu calls for eliminating duties on food imports, taxing multiple-home owners

PMO: Imported milk 55%more expensive because of tariffs

By Niv Elis

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday called on Finance Minister Yair Lapid to reduce or completely do away with import duties on food products, while proposing that owners of three or more homes be taxed to cover resulting budgetary shortfalls.

“This is a step that would immediatly create competition and lower prices,” Netanyahu said during a strategic discussion on the Israeli ceconmy with his office’s National Economic Council.

The Prime Minister’s Office found that duties on some items significantly increased the price to consumers such as the 55 percent tariff on milk and 40% on milk-based drinks, which are being passed on directly to shoppers. Import taxes added 28% to the cost of yogurt; 36% to the price of soft cheeses; 41% to butter; 30% to eggs; 17% to olive oil; and 12.1%-21.7% on frozen chicken, according to the PMO.

Lapid and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett already have reduced import tariffs on certain dairy products and meats, and the government has approved their plan to reduce duties on pasta, cereals, and grain imports, which is set to go into effect in 2015

Food prices have become a persistent political problem for the government over the past few years. In 2011, the high price of cottage cheese paved the way for massive street protests on the cost of living, and more recently, a viral Facebook posting comparing the high price of local pudding snack, Milky, to the price of a similar product in Germany sparked outrage.

Lapid has responded by calling for more products to be placed under price supervision, which would regulate their sale price.

Sunday’s declaration took place during a meeting with PMO Chief Economic Adviser Eugene Kandel on preparing Israel’s labor force for the future and increasing human capital.

“We must put people center with an emphasis an emphasis on imparting fitting skills and redesigning the relationship between labor and the economy based on the north European model,” Kandel said.

Kandel’s reference to north Europe was to a model of investing directly in human capital, as opposed to one that focuses on investing in the work place, which he ascribed to countries such as Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain.

In a survey of future labor- market expectations, Kandel said manual or repetitive jobs, such as broker, insurance agent and dispatcher, were at  high risk for disappearing.The more promising fields were those that relied on creativity, emotional intelligence and the ability to respond to changing circumstances such as research, caregivers and managers.

The fear is that the narrowing out of mid-level jobs would create greater inequality, leaving an abundance of jobs at the low and high ends of the wage spectrum.

Most of the recommendations focused on education, training and creating tools to help people change and advance their careers.

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Rise in home prices starts to slow down

By Adi Ben-Israel


Home prices are rising at a slower rate, according to data released Sunday by the Government Assessor. Home prices rose just 0.3 percent in the third quarter in comparison with the second quarter.

In six cities there were even falls in prices, including in Tel Aviv, where the price of a four-room apartment fell 2% to NIS 2.7 million. 

The government Assessor’s survey examine prices on four-room apartments only, since these are the properties in highest demand in the Israeli housing market. “In the surveyed period, the trend of moderate price rises that has characterized the past year slowed to the point of halting altogether,” the Government Assessor’s report said. “At the end of March, the government’s decision on measures to bring down housing prices was published, among them the “target price” program and the plan for 0% VAT.

“In the surveyed period, these programs had not yet been implemented. Moreover, Operation Protective Edge took place in this period. These two factors led to a sharp fall in the number of transactions during the summer months, which was partly corrected during September, when there was rise in the number of transactions in comparison with previous months”

In Haifa, the price of four-room apartment fell 1% in the third quarter to NIS 1,277,000. In comparison with the third quarter of 2013, a rise of 3% was recorded. For the Jerusalem, there was a third-quarter rise of 4% to NIS 1,936,000 and a 12- month rise of 10%. In Modi’in, prices remained stable in the third quarter at 1,627,000 up 5% over the third quarter of 2013. In Herzliya, prices fell 2% in the third quarter to NIS 1,990,000 up 3% compared with 2013. In Netanay, prices rose 2% in the third quarter, up 4% compared with 2013.

According to Ministry of Construction and Housing data, the stock of unsold new housing units rose to 26,920 in the third quarter.