Services inflation picked up to 2.5 percent in May from 2.2 percent in April, on account of costlier medical treatment and medical insurance as well as a smaller fall in holiday travel cost.
Food prices were up by 2.0 percent in May, slightly stronger than the 1.8 percent rise in the preceding month, reflecting steeper price increases for both non-cooked food and prepared meals.
Accommodation costs climbed by 5.1 percent in May, up from 2.4 percent in April, as the impact of the disbursement of HDB Service & Conservancy Charges (S&CC) rebates in April dissipated.
Imputed rentals on owner-occupied accommodation continued to increase, contributing 0.9 percent point to overall inflation in May.
Prices of oil-related items fell by a more modest 4.4 percent in May compared with the 5.2 percent decline in April, led by a smaller reduction in petrol pump prices.
Private road transport cost fell by 3.7 percent in May, the first decline since 2009, reversing the 0.5 percent rise in April. The fall was due to lower Certificate of Entitlement (COE) premiums in April and price adjustments by car dealers following the implementation of the motor vehicle-related policy measures.
MAS Core Inflation, which excludes the costs of accommodation and private road transport, rose to 1.7 percent in May from 1.4 percent in April, mainly due to steeper increases in services fees and food prices.
On a month-on-month basis, the inflation rate increased by 0.4 percent in May following a 1.5 percent decline in April.
Overall food prices were 0.3 percent higher and services fees rose by 0.2 percent, reflecting higher costs of health insurance, medical treatment and household services.
Accommodation cost was 3.2 percent higher compared to April and actual rental costs and imputed rentals on owner-occupied accommodation also edged up further.
Car prices were lower in May, reflecting the correction in car COE premiums and petrol pump prices were also lower, in line with the recent weakness in global oil prices.