Year-on-year, prices fell for: transport (-3.7 percent in February from -3.1 percent in January, mainly due to a 5.8 percent drop in private road transport) and housing & utilities (-2.6 percent from -2.4 percent, mainly due to a 6.0 percent decline in fuel & utilities and 2.1 percent fall in accommodation). While prices moderated for healthcare (0.2 percent from 0.6 percent in January), cost remained unchanged for communication (+1.1 percent). In contrast, prices increased for: household durables & services (+1.9 percent from +1.4 percent, mainly due to a 2.7 percent increase in household durables), recreation & culture (+0.3 percent from -0.5 percent, mainly due to a 2.0 percent increase in newspapers, books & stationery), education (+3.6 percent from +3.0 percent, mainly due to a 3.6 percent increase in tuition & other fees) and miscellaneous goods and services (+1.4 percent from +0.8 percent, mainly due to a 6.4 percent increase in alcoholic drinks & tobacco).
Food inflation was recorded at 2.5 percent in February, accelerating from a 2.2 percent rise in the previous month, as cost rose for all of food categories except sugar, preserves & confectionery. Food excluding food servicing services increased by 3.2 percent from 1.6 percent rise in January and food servicing services rose 2.2 percent from 2.5 percent.
Among food excluding food servicing services, prices increased the most for fish & seafood (8.3 percent), followed by fruits (+4.9 percent); milk, cheese & eggs (+3.9 percent); vegetables (+3.0 percent); other food (+2.4 percent); meat (+1.6 percent); bread & cereals (+1.2 percent) and oils & fats (+1.1 percent). Prices declined only for sugar, preserves & confectionery (-0.7 percent). Among food servicing services, prices rose for all components: fast food and hawker food including food courts (+2.3 percent respectively), restaurant foods (+2.1 percent) and catered food (+1.4 percent).
Core inflation, which excludes costs of accommodation and private road transport, recorded at 1.3 percent in February, easing from a 1.0 percent increase in January.
On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices increased 0.3 percent in February, following a 0.2 percent drop in the previous month. Price increased the most for recreation & culture (+0.7 percent, mainly due to a 1.3 percent rise of holiday expenses), followed by household durables & services (+0.4 percent, education (+0.4 percent) and clothing & footwear (+0.1 percent). In contrast, prices fell for transport (-0.1 percent, mainly due to 0.6 percent decline of private road transport) and housing & utilities (-0.2 percent, mainly due to a 0.6 percent decline in fuel & utilities and a 0.2 percent fall in accommodation).