Singapore Inflation Rate Edges Up to 0.5% in February

Singapore's annual inflation rate inched higher to 0.5 percent in February of 2019 from 0.4 percent in January and matching market expectations, as both housing and transport prices fell less than in a month earlier while food inflation remained steady for the fourth straight month.
Statistics Singapore l Chusnul Ch Manan | 3/25/2019 12:33:21 PM
Year-on-year, cost fell at a slower pace for housing & utilities (-0.4 percent vs -0.5 percent in January), amid a smaller drop in prices of accommodation (-1.6 percent vs -1.9 percent). Also, prices decreased less for transport (-1.2 percent vs -1.8 percent), namely private road transport (-2.3 percent vs -3.4 percent); and communications (-2.4 percent vs -2.9 percent).

Meantime, food inflation stood at 1.4 percent, unchanged from the previous three months. Among food excluding food servicing services, cost rose for: bread & cereals (2.5 percent, the same pace as in January); milk, cheese & eggs (1.3 percent vs 1.6 percent); oils & fats (3.2 percent vs 2.5 percent); fruits (3.7 percent vs 2.7 percent); sugar, preserves & confectionery (0.7 percent vs 1.1 percent); and non-alcoholic beverages (2.3 percent vs 2.1 percent). Contrarily, prices declined for both meat (-0.2 percent vs -0.3 percent) and fish & seafood (-1.3 percent vs 3.3 percent) while vegetables prices were unchanged (vs -2.7 percent). Among food servicing services, prices increases were recorded for catered food (4.1 percent vs 3.4 percent); hawker food including food courts (1.7 percent vs 1.6 percent); restaurant food (1.5 percent, the same pace as in January), and fast food (1.2 percent after a flat reading in January ). 

Also, inflation was steady for healthcare (at 1.7 percent) while household durables & services prices went up slightly faster (0.8 percent vs 0.7 percent).

In contrast, cost slowed for: clothing & footwear (1.2 percent vs 2.5 percent);  recreation & culture (0.7 percent vs 0.9 percent); education (2.7 percent vs 3.2 percent); miscellaneous goods & services (1.3 percent vs 1.4 percent). 

Annual core inflation, which exclude costs of accommodation and private road transport, edged down to 1.5 percent in February from 1.7 percent in January, below market expectations of 1.7 percent and staying at its lowest level since May 2018.

On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices increased 0.5 percent in February, the most since May last year, reversing from a 0.3 percent fall in January. 

For 2019, the central bank and trade ministry expects Singapore inflation within 0.5-1.5 percent target range.

Singapore Inflation Rate Edges Up to 0.5% in February