Singapore’s headline consumer price inflation was unchanged in September, while the core figure eased, preliminary data from the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Monetary Authority of Singapore showed on Tuesday.
The consumer price index rose 0.7 percent year-on-year, same as in August. Economists had expected a slightly higher figure of 0.8 percent.
A smaller decline in accommodation costs and higher services inflation was offset by lower retail inflation, the MAS said.
The core inflation, which excludes the costs of accommodation and private road transport, slowed to 1.8 percent from 1.9 percent in both July and August.
The easing came as a moderation in retail inflation more than offset higher services inflation, the de facto central bank said.
Food inflation slowed to 1.6 percent from 1.7 percent, owing to a smaller increase in the prices of non-cooked food items.
Services inflation accelerated to 1.4 percent from 1.3 percent, reflecting a reflected a larger increase in education services fees and a smaller decline in telecommunication services fees.
Compared to the previous month, the CPI was unchanged in September after a 0.4 percent increase in the previous month. The core inflation was unchanged at zero percent.
The MAS expects imported inflation to accelerate in the quarters ahead due to higher global oil and food prices. An improving labor market is set to support faster wage growth this year and next.
“As domestic demand strengthens further, there could be a greater pass-through of higher import and labor costs to consumer prices,” the MAS said.
“However, the extent of overall price increases will be capped by greater market competition in several consumer segments, such as telecommunications, electricity and retail.”
Core inflation is expected to rise modestly in the months ahead, and come in within the forecast range of 1.5-2 percent in 2018 and 1.5-2.5 percent in 2019, the MAS said.
Headline inflation is projected to be about 0.5 percent this year, before picking up to 1-2 percent in 2019.
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