Singapore's core inflation eases to 1.5% in February

Singapore's core inflation eases to 1.5% in February

The Monetary Authority of Singapore headquarters. (File photo: TODAY/Jason Quah)

SINGAPORE: Singapore's February core inflation rate eased to 1.5 per cent from a year earlier, its lowest in nine months, due to smaller increases in the cost of services, retail items as well as electricity and gas, said the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Ministry of Trade and Industry in a joint release on Monday (Mar 25).

The median forecast in a Reuters poll was for a 1.7 per cent rise. January's core inflation rate was 1.7 per cent year-on-year.

Unlike the consumer price index (CPI), the core inflation rate excludes accommodation and private road transport costs.

According to data released by Singstat on Monday, services costs increased by 1.5 per cent in February year-on-year, less than the 1.7 per cent recorded in January.

Food costs increased by 1.4 per cent - the same as January's rate.

Electricity and gas costs rose at a slower pace of 5.5 per cent than the January rate of 6.5 per cent, reflecting the effect of the open electricity market's effect on electricity prices.

Headline CPI edged up to 0.5 per cent in February from a year earlier, due to more gradual declines in private road transport and accommodation costs.

The median forecast in the poll was for all-items CPI to rise 0.5 per cent. In January, headline CPI rose 0.4 per cent year-on-year.

Private road transport costs decreased by 2.3 per cent in February year-on-year, less than the 3.4 per cent drop in January, due to smaller declines in both car and petrol prices.

Accommodation costs fell by 1.6 per cent, less than the 1.9 per cent decline in January, due to a more gradual fall in rentals and larger increase in maintenance and repair costs.

Source: CNA/Reuters/jt