In September, food inflation eased to 1.6 percent from 1.7 percent in a month earlier. Among food excluding food servicing services, cost increased less for: oils & fats (0.7 percent vs 3.9 percent in August); fruit (3.3 percent vs 3.4 percent); sugar, preserves & confectionery (1.7 percent vs 3.3 percent) and non-alcoholic beverages(2.2 percent vs 2.3 percent) and declined for both vegetables (-1.1 percent vs 0.4 percent) and meat (-0.3 percent vs -0.8 percent). Conversely, prices advanced further for bread & cereals (2.9 percent vs 2.3 percent); milk, cheese & eggs (1.5 percent vs 1.4 percent); and other food (2.1 percent vs 1.7 percent). Among food servicing services, inflation rose for restaurant food (2.0 percent vs 1.9 percent), hawker food including food courts (1.6 percent vs 0.4 percent); while eased for fast food (0.2 percent vs 0.4 percent); and was unchanged for catered food (at 1.7 percent).
Also, inflation slowed for clothing & footwear (1.8 percent vs 2.8 percent) and recreation & culture (1.2 percent vs 1.6 percent), due to holiday expenses (2.7 percent, the same as in the prior month). Meantime, inflation was steady for miscellaneous goods & services (at 1.1 percent) and healthcare (at 2 percent).
Meanwhile, prices went up faster for education (2.9 percent vs 2.4 percent) and household durables & services (0.8 percent vs 0.7 percent), mainly due to household services & supplies (1.3 percent, the same as in August).
In addition, prices fell at a slower pace for housing & utilities (-0.5 percent vs -0.6 percent) and transport (-0.1 percent vs -0.2 percent) but more for communication (-1.6 percent vs -1.5 percent).
The annual core inflation, which exclude costs of accommodation and private road transport, eased to 1.8 percent in September 2018 from 1.9 percent in August and slightly below expectations of 1.9 percent.
On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices were flat, after a 0.4 percent rise in August.