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Singapore core inflation rises to 1.9 per cent in October

Janet Ong
Finance Editor
A man takes a photo next to the Helix Bridge, which connects to the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort. (Photo: REUTERS/Kevin Lam)

Singapore’s core consumer prices rose to 1.9 per cent year-on-year in October from a year earlier as a larger increase in the costs of electricity and gas more than offset lower food and retail inflation.

This in line with the 1.9 per cent rise projected by a median forecast in a Reuters poll of 10 economists.

The overall cost of retail items rose by 1.3 per cent in the same period, moderating from the 1.5 per cent increase in September and reflecting lower inflation for clothing and footwear items, personal effects and medical products, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Ministry of Trade and Industry said in a joint statement on Friday (23 November).

The cost of electricity and gas rose by 16.6 per cent year-on-year in October, compared to a 13 per cent rise in September. This was due to the upward revision in electricity tariffs on the back of higher oil prices in the preceding months.

Food inflation eased to 1.4 per cent year-on-year in October, from 1.6 percent in the month before.

The core inflation measure excludes changes in the price of cars and accommodation, which tend to be influenced by government policies and are volatile.

The all-items or headline inflation was unchanged at 0.7 percent year-on-on year, same as the previous month.  The median forecast in a Reuters poll was for 0.8 percent.

Core inflation is expected to rise modestly in the months ahead, and come in within the forecast range of 1.5-2 per cent in 2018, and 1.5-2.5 per cent in 2019, MAS said. Similarly, headline inflation is projected to be about 0.5 per cent in 2018, before picking up to 1-2 per cent in 2019.

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