Rising crude oil prices will result in a 3.68 percent hike in the price of fuel at the pump for March, effective midnight Saturday. The new price was fixed as the price of crude oil approached $100 a barrel, and oil since has climbed to $102 a barrel. Full-service gasoline at the pump will cost 6.20 shekels a liter, and discounts from 12 to 20 agorot a liter are available at self-serve pumps.
The increase, which may be followed by another hike in the price of electricity in the near future, will put upward pressure on the consumer price index. Economists have noted that inflation would have soared much higher the past few months if it were not for the strong shekel, which has brought down the cost of housing quoted in dollars. The shekel-dollar rate has stabilized and is not expected to bring down the consumer price index in the next month.