Singapore's annual inflation rate increased to 0.5 percent in December from a seven-month low of 0.3 percent in the previous month and slightly above market consensus of 0.4 percent.
Main upward pressure came from: housing & utilities (0.1 percent vs flat reading in November), with fuel & utilities prices rising 13.7 percent vs 14.2 percent; clothing & footwear (2.6 percent vs 0.8 percent); household durables & services (0.8 percent vs 0.7 percent); and recreation & culture (1.7 percent vs 0.9 percent).
At the same time, food inflation stood at 1.4 percent, unchanged from previous month. Among food excluding food servicing services, cost rose for: bread & cereals (2.4 percent vs 1.6 percent); fish & seafood (1.9 percent vs 2.4 percent); milk, cheese & eggs (2.2 percent vs 2.0 percent); oils & fats (4.0 percent vs 4.3 percent); fruits (2.2 percent vs 3.2 percent); sugar, preserves & confectionery (1.4 percent vs -1.4 percent); and non-alcoholic beverages (0.6 percent vs -0.3 percent). On the other hand, prices fell for both vegetables (-0.1 percent vs flat reading) and meat (-0.7 percent vs -0.5 percent). Among food servicing services, the biggest price increase was recorded for restaurant food (1.6 percent vs 1.8 percent), followed by hawker food including food courts (unchanged at 1.5 percent) and catered food (unchanged at 0.9 percent) while a decline was seen in cost of fast food (-0.4 percent vs 0.1 percent)
Inflation was also steady for healthcare (at 1.6 percent) education (at 3.2 percent) and miscellaneous goods & services (at 1.4 percent), while prices dropped for transport (-2.6 percent vs -2.8 percent), mainly due to private road transport (-3.7 percent vs -3.6 percent); and communication (-2.7 percent vs -3.0 percent).
Annual core inflation, which exclude costs of accommodation and private road transport, picked up to 1.9 percent in December from 1.7 percent in November, beating market expectations of 1.7 percent.
On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices edged up 0.1 percent in December, after a 0.2 percent rise in November.
1/23/2019 1:30:45 PM