Private road transport cost climbed by 17.4 percent in February, up from 10.5 percent a month earlier. This was due to the spike in COE premiums in January, which was exacerbated by the low base a year ago when premiums declined. The step-up in private road transport cost alone accounted for more than two thirds of the 1.3 percent points rise in overall inflation in February.
Food inflation was higher at 2.3 percent in February, compared with 1.0 percent in January, mainly on account of the seasonal uptick in food prices and a reversal of the base effects associated with the Chinese New Year. Services fees rose by 2.7 percent in February, up from 1.9 percent in January, largely led by the increase in the cost of household services following the new regulation for foreign domestic workers.
Prices of oil-related items declined at a more moderate pace of -0.2 percent in February compared to -1.4 percent in January. While electricity tariff was lower, petrol pump prices increased in tandem with higher global oil prices at the beginning of this year.