SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore's consumer prices in March likely rose from a four-year low in February, when headline inflation eased due to a high base of comparison a year earlier, a Reuters poll showed.
The all-items consumer price index (CPI) in March probably rose 1.1 per cent year-on-year, according to the median forecast in a Reuters poll of 12 economists, up from February's 0.4 per cent rise, which was the lowest increase since January 2010.
The drop in consumer inflation in February was caused by lower prices of car permits compared with a peak in early 2013, and a moderation in food inflation from a seasonal pick-up in February 2013 that was related to the Lunar New Year holiday.
Such base effects are expected to wear off in March, and cause consumer inflation to pick up from February's trough.
The poll also showed that the Monetary Authority of Singapore's (MAS) core inflation measure, which excludes changes in the prices of cars and accommodation, likely increased 1.9 per cent from a year earlier in March, up from a 1.6 per cent rise in February.
Earlier this week, Singapore's central bank maintained its tight monetary policy stance despite weaker growth in the first quarter, saying core inflation will be elevated as a recovery in advanced economies spurs a rebound in the city-state, and due to wage cost pressures from a tight labour market.
The MAS trimmed its headline inflation forecast for 2014 to 1.5-2.5 per cent from 2-3 per cent, citing a weaker outlook for imputed rentals on owner-occupied housing, but kept its core inflation forecast unchanged at 2-3 per cent.