The consumer-price index for April rose by 0.9% to 100.6 points, the Central Bureau of Statistics today announced.

The news came as a surprise as the April figure exceeds the highest forecast, which projected an increase of 0.3% to 0.8%. The average forecast called for an 0.5% increase.

The April CPI was largely affected by seasonal price increases, as well as a 6.1% increase in the price of fresh vegetables; a 4.5% increase in the price of clothing and shoes, and a 13% seasonal price-increase in holiday and recreational activities both in Israel and overseas.

The CPI increased an average of 0.4% during the first four months of 2001.