Singapore's consumer prices rise for third consecutive month

Singapore's consumer prices rise for third consecutive month

The consumer price index rose to 0.7 per cent in February from 0.6 per cent in the previous month, largely due to increases in transport, education and healthcare prices.

Orchard Road shopping
Pedestrians cross the street along the Orchard Road shopping area in Singapore. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: Consumer prices in Singapore rose for the third straight month in February, due in part to increases in transport and education costs.

The consumer price index (CPI) - a key measure of headline inflation - rose 0.7 per cent in February from a year ago, up from the previous month’s 0.6 per cent, according to figures from the Department of Statistics on Thursday (Mar 23).

This was mainly due to year-on-year increases in costs related to transport (4.2 per cent), education (3.6 per cent) and healthcare (2.6 per cent).

However, there were drops in the prices for housing and utilities (-3.1 per cent), miscellaneous goods and services (-0.6 per cent) and clothing and footwear (-0.2 per cent).

Consumer prices rose for the first time in December 2016 after a record two years of negative inflation.

MAS Core Inflation, which excludes the cost of accommodation and private road transport, rose 1.2 per cent year-on-year in February, slightly lower than the previous month's 1.5 per cent.

Looking ahead, MAS Core Inflation is expected to average 1–2 per cent for the whole of 2017, compared with 0.9 per cent in 2016. CPI-All Items inflation is projected to pick up to 0.5–1.5 per cent this year, from -0.5 per cent in 2016.

"The firmer rate of inflation in 2017 largely reflects the contribution of energy-related components, as well as some administrative price increases, rather than generalised demand-induced price pressures," MAS and MTI said.

Source: CNA/mz