Singapore consumer prices rise 0.2% in December on higher petrol prices, carpark fees

Singapore consumer prices rose 0.2 per cent in December from a year earlier, slightly more than expected, on higher petrol prices and car park fees.
Singapore consumer prices rose 0.2 per cent in December from a year earlier, slightly more than expected, on higher petrol prices and car park fees. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore consumer prices rose 0.2 per cent in December from a year earlier, slightly more than expected, on higher petrol prices and carpark fees.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a 0.1 per cent rise in all-items consumer price index (CPI).

For the whole of 2016, the all-items CPI declined by 0.5 per cent, for the second straight year, the Department of Statistics said on Monday (Jan 23).

Singapore's record two-year run of negative inflation ended in November when the CPI stayed unchanged. Economists are expecting consumer prices to move cautiously higher this year as weak oil and commodity prices recover.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore's (MAS) core inflation measure for December, which strips out transport and accommodation costs - eased to a 1.2 per cent rise from 1.3 per cent in November. This was due to lower retail goods inflation, MAS and the Ministry of Trade & Industry said in a separate report on Monday (Jan 23).

For the whole of 2016, core inflation rose to 0.9 per cent, from 0.5 per cent in 2015.

Private road transport costs increased by 1.7 per cent in December, following a 0.2 per cent rise in November, after the Housing Development Board (HBD) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) raised public carpark charges on Dec 1.

 

Services inflation edged up to 1.6 per cent from 1.5 per cent in November, mainly due to the faster pace of increase in holiday expenses, which more than offset the larger contraction in telecommunication services fees, said MAS & MTI.

Food inflation was 2.0 per cent in December, unchanged from the previous month. Price increases for both non-cooked food items and prepared meals were broadly stable.

Accommodation costs fell by 3.8 per cent in December, similar to the previous month, reflecting continued softness in the housing rental market.

Overall retail goods inflation eased to 0 per cent in December from 0.2 per cent in November, largely on account of a fall in the prices of personal care products following the rise in November.