In November, food inflation came in at 1.4 percent, unchanged from the previous month and remaining at its lowest since May. Among food excluding food servicing services, cost continued to rise for: bread & cereals (1.6 percent vs 1.8 percent in October); fish & seafood (2.4 percent vs 2.6 percent); milk, cheese & eggs (2 percent vs 1.8 percent); oils & fats (4.3 percent vs 2.7 percent); fruits (3.2 percent vs 2.8 percent), while was flat for vegetables (vs -1.6 percent in October), and declined for meat (-0.5 percent vs -0.4 percent); and sugar, preserves & confectionery (-1.4 percent vs 1.6 percent). Among food servicing services, inflation was stable for restaurant food (at 1.8 percent); hawker food including food courts (at 1.5 percent); and catered (at 0.9 percent), while eased for fast food (0.1 percent vs 0.2 percent).
At the same time, cost eased for housing & utilities (a flat reading vs -0.2 percent in October), driven by accommodation (-2.1 percent vs -2.5 percent) and fuel & utilities (14.2 percent vs 15.1 percent); clothing & footwear (0.8 percent vs 1.2 percent in October); household durables & services (0.7 percent vs 0.9 percent); healthcare (1.6 percent vs 1.8 percent); and recreation & culture (0.9 percent vs 1.0 percent). Also, cost fell further for transport (-2.8 percent vs -0.5 percent), mainly due to private road transport (-3.6 percent vs -0.6 percent); and communication (-3 percent vs -1.2 percent). In contrast, inflation was steady for education (at 3.2 percent), and increased markedly for miscellaneous goods & services (1.4 percent vs 1.1 percent), largely due to personal care (0.8 percent vs 0.3 percent) and alcoholic drinks & tobacco (5.8 percent vs 6.1 percent).
Annual core inflation, which exclude costs of accommodation and private road transport, fell to 1.7 percent in November 2018 from 1.9 percent in October and lower than market expectations of 1.9 percent. It was the lowest figure since June.
On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices went up 0.2 percent, after a 0.3 percent fall in October and marking the highest reading in three months.