Israeli consumer prices rose 0.1% in October from September, far below analysts' forecasts of a 0.5% rise, as Israel's economic recession becomes more entrenched.
The rise in the consumer price index (CPI) marked the eighth straight monthly CPI advance and indicated an annualised inflationary increase of 2.4%, the Central Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday.
Seasonal price increases in clothing, as well as higher housing costs, fuelled the slight CPI rise, but were largely offset by steep declines in holiday travel costs as well as a drop in university tuition.
Over the last 12 months, the CPI has risen 2.0%, keeping inflation within the government's 2.5-3.5% official target rate for all of 2001. Since the beginning of the year, inflation has risen 2.1%.
Most economists expect the CPI to end the year at 2.0 to 2.5%, down from estimates of 3.0% just a month ago.
Israel's economy is expected to show close to zero growth in 2001, underlining its exposure to shrinking global markets.