Year-on-year, upward prices pressure came from: household durables & services (2.1 percent from 2.1 percent in the prior month, largely due to a 3.9 percent increase in household services & supplies), health care (2.5 percent from 2.4 percent, mainly driven by a 3.6 percent rise in medical & dental treatment), transport (2.8 percent from 0.8 percent, mainly due to a 4.1 percent rise in private road transport and a 3.8 percent gain in other travel & transport), recreation & culture (0.5 percent from 0.9 percent, largely due to a 5.9 percent increase in newspapers, book & stationery and a 2.0 percent growth in holiday expenses) and education (3.5 percent from 3.2 percent, due to a 3.6 percent rise in tuition & other fees and a 0.1 percent increase in school textbooks & related study guides). Cost remained unchanged for miscellaneous goods & services (compared to a flat reading in December, namely other miscellaneous expenditure: 1.5 percent, personal effects: 0.9 percent and personal care: -0.7 percent). In contrast, cost fell for: clothing & footwear (-1.5 percent from-0.1 percent) and housing & utilities (-3.2 percent from -3.8 percent, largely due to a 3.9 percent drop in accommodation).
Prices of food rose 1.9 percent in January, following a 2.0 percent gain in the previous two months. Among food, cost of food excluding food servicing services increased by 2.0 percent, compared to a 2.4 percent rise in a month earlier while food servicing services rose 1.8 percent, the same pace as in December. Among food excluding food servicing services, cost increased for bread & cereals (0.4 percent), meat (0.6 percent); fish & seafood (6.2 percent); milk, cheese & eggs (0.6 percent), fruits (1.0 percent), vegetables (4.9 percent); sugar, preserves & confectionery (1.8 percent) and other food (0.7 percent). In contrast, prices fell for oils & fats (-2.6 percent) and non-alcoholic beverages (-0.1 percent). Among food servicing services, prices increased for all categories: restaurant foods (1.7 percent), fast food (2.3 percent), hawker food including food courts (1.8 percent) and catered food (1.3 percent).
Core inflation, which excludes costs of accommodation and private road transport, rose 1.5 percent year-on-year, following a 1.2 percent gain in the prior month and above consensus of a 1.3 percent rise. It was the highest level since December 2014.
On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices went up 0.2 percent, the same pace as in a month earlier.