Singapore core inflation eases slightly in August

  • Economy
  • Thursday, 24 Sep 2020

Keeping tabs: The Monetary Authority of Singapore’s headquarters in Singapore. It notes that in the quarters ahead, external sources of inflation are likely to remain benign amid weak global demand conditions. — Reuters

SINGAPORE: The slide in Singapore’s core consumer prices eased last month on smaller declines in the costs of services, retail and other goods, as well as electricity and gas.

Core inflation, which excludes accommodation and private road transport costs, came in at -0.3% in August, up from the decade-low of -0.4% in July.

It was the seventh straight month of core consumer prices falling below the same period a year ago.

Meanwhile, overall inflation was unchanged at -0.4% as a steeper fall in private transport costs offset the more moderate decline in core inflation, according to data released by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) yesterday

Private transport costs fell at a faster pace of 2.3% in August, compared with the 2.1% drop in July, as car price inflation fell.

The cost of retail and other goods recorded a smaller decline, at -1.3% in August compared with -1.6% the month before, as the prices of clothing and footwear and recreational goods fell at a more moderate pace.

The cost of electricity and gas also declined at a slower rate in August, at -14.6% compared with -15.2% in July, as the take-up of new subscriptions under the Open Electricity Market eased.

Food inflation fell in August, with prices rising at 1.8% compared with 2.2% the previous month, due to lower non-cooked food and food services inflation.

Accommodation inflation was unchanged at 0.4% as housing rents saw a similar pace of increase as in July.

Services costs fell at a slower pace of 0.5% in August, compared with the 0.8% drop the previous month, due to a smaller fall in point-to-point transport services costs and a larger increase in telecommunication services fees.

MAS and MTI noted that in the quarters ahead, external sources of inflation are likely to remain benign amid weak global demand conditions. Oil prices are expected to stay low for an extended period, while international food commodity price increases should generally be contained amid improved supply conditions. — The Straits Times/ANN

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