Singapore consumer prices fell by 0.6 percent year-on-year in December of 2015, following a 0.8 percent decline in the preceding month. It is the 14th straight month of fall but slightly above market consensus, mainly due to a decline in cost of housing & utilities and transport while prices of food rose less than a month earlier.
Year-on-year, downward prices pressure came from: housing & utilities (-4.2 percent in December from -4.2 percent in November, largely due to a 12.6 percent drop in fuel & utilities and a 3.0 percent fall in accommodation) and household durables & services (-1.3 percent from -1.3 percent, mainly due to a 2.0 percent decline in household services & supplies). Cost also dropped for transport (-0.9 percent from -1.1 percent, due to a 1.1 percent decline in private road transport and a 5.4 percent fall in other travel & transport), health care (-0.7 percent from -0.5 percent, mainly due to a 0.9 percent drop in medical & dental treatment) and communication (-0.1 percent from -0.9 percent). In contrast, upward prices pressures came from: clothing & footwear (+1.2 percent from +1.4 percent), recreation & culture (+1.4 percent from +0.8 percent, mainly due to a 1.0 percent increase in recreation & entertainment; a 0.2 percent rise in newspapers, book & stationery and a 0.8 percent increase in holiday expenses). While prices remained steady for education (+3.7 percent), cost was unchanged for miscellaneous goods & services.
Prices of food rose 1.5 percent in December, slowing from a 1.6 percent rise in a month earlier. Among food, cost of food excluding food servicing services increased by 0.5 percent, following a 0.4 percent rise in the preceding month while food servicing services rose 2.1 percent, after a 2.3 percent rise in October. Among food excluding food servicing services, prices increased for bread & cereals (+1.1 percent); meat (+0.4 percent); fish & seafood (+0.6 percent); fruits (+1.0 percent); sugar, preserves & confectionery (+1.9 percent); non-alcoholic beverages (+1.0 percent) and other food (+1.0 percent). In contrast, prices declined for oils & fats (-4.9 percent) and vegetables (-0.7 percent). Prices remained unchanged for milk, cheese & eggs. Among food servicing services, while prices of catered food declined by 0.2 percent, prices increased for other components: restaurant foods (+3.3 percent), fast food (+1.0 percent) and hawker food including food courts (+1.6 percent).
Core inflation, which excludes costs of accommodation and private road transport, rose 0.3 percent year-on-year, accelerating from a 0.2 percent rise in November.
On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices remained unchanged, following a 0.2 percent rise in November. Prices increased for food (+0.1 percent), household durables & services (+0.2 percent), recreation & culture (+0.9 percent), communication (+0.6 percent) an miscellaneous goods & services (+0.2 percent). In contrast, cost fell for clothing & footwear (-1.0 percent), housing & utilities (-0.3 percent) and transport (-0.2 percent). Prices remained unchanged for health and education.
For full year of 2015, consumer prices fell by 0.5 percent, as compared to a 1.0 percent rise in the preceding year. For 2016, inflation forecast at this stage remained the same as in the prior year, between -0.5 percent to 0.5 percent.
1/25/2016 7:38:26 AM