Singapore’s consumer prices flat in October, core inflation up by 1.9%

Consumer Price Index saw a steeper decline in private road transport costs and a moderation in prices of food and retail items. The pickup in electricity and gas costs helped maintained overall CPI prices at the current percentage of increase.

Singapore's Orchard Road

Singapore’s consumer prices for October gained 0.7% from a year ago, in the same pace of increase following the previous month, a joint statement from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) released on Friday showed.

Consumer Price Index (CPI), also known as headline inflation, saw a steeper decline in private road transport costs and a moderation in prices of food and retail items. The pickup in electricity and gas costs helped maintained overall CPI prices at the current percentage of increase.

Singapore’s core inflation, an indicator which excludes accommodation and private road transport costs, edged up 0.1% from September to increase by 1.9% for last month. The increase was due to a stronger rise in electricity and gas fees.

The MAS and MTI has maintained headline inflation for this year to be at around 0.5% and expects CPI to pick up to the range of 1.0%-2.0% in 2019. Core inflation predictions are expected to “rise modestly in the months ahead,” coming within the forecast expectations of 1.5%-2.0% for this year and 1.5%-2.5% in 2019, the agencies said.

For last month, electricity and gas costs rose to 16.6%, higher than the 13.0% increase in September, due to the upward price revision in electricity tariffs amid an environment with higher oil prices.

Food prices eased with an increase of 1.4%, compared to a 1.6% rise in the previous month, as prices of non-cooked food items and prepared meals rose at a slower pace.

Prices of retail items eased from the previous month’s 1.5% increase to rise by 1.3% for last month, due to a slower pace of increase in prices for categories including clothing and footwear items, and medical items.

Accommodation costs fell by 2.5% for last month, in the same pace of price decline in September. The decline was due to falling housing rentals.

Private road transport costs fell by 0.6%, faster than the 0.1% dip in September, as there was a steeper fall in car prices.

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