Singapore’s consumer prices rise 0.5% in December, core inflation up by 1.9%

Headline inflation increased due to a rise in the cost of services and prices of retail goods.

Singapore’s consumer prices for December gained 0.5% from a year ago, easing in its pace of increase compared to the previous month, a joint statement from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) released on Wednesday showed.

Consumer Price Index (CPI), also known as headline inflation, increased due to a rise in the cost of services, prices of retail goods, as well as a smaller decline in accommodation costs.

Singapore’s core inflation, an indicator which excludes accommodation and private road transport costs, rose 1.9% for last month, compared to an 1.7% increase in November.

Singapore’s 2018 CPI up by 0.4%, core inflation rises 1.7%

For last year, headline inflation increased by 0.4% and core inflation averaged at 1.7%.

Commenting on the increase in consumer prices for last year, MAS and MTI said global oil prices were higher compared to 2017 while non-oil import prices had picked up from their price trough in the first quarter.

The MAS and MTI projects headline inflation for this year to be at around 1.0%-2.0% and core inflation to come within the forecast range of 1.5%-2.5%.

Prices of electricity, food, and retail items rise, while housing and private road transport costs dip

For last month, electricity and gas fees rose by 14.6%, lower than the 15.4% increase in November, due to the phased nationwide launch of the open electricity market on electricity prices.

Food prices rose in the same pace as the preceding two months for December, up by 1.4%, as prices of non-cooked food items and prepared meals remained broadly the same.

Prices of retail items gained 1.7%, escalating from the 1.1% increase in the previous month, as the prices of clothing and footwear and household durables rose.

Accommodation costs fell by 1.9% for last month, moderating from the 2.1% decline in November, due to the ongoing slide in housing rentals.

Private road transport costs fell by 3.7%, faster than the 3.6% dip in November. A moderated fall in car prices was offset by a slower pace of increase in petrol prices.

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