Singapore's record 2-year spell of negative inflation ends as consumer prices stop falling in November

A man pulling his basket of groceries at Sheng Siong supermarket.
A man pulling his basket of groceries at Sheng Siong supermarket. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore's longest spell of negative inflation came to an end last month.

After 24 straight months of sliding readings, the consumer price index - the main measure of inflation - was flat in November compared with the same month a year ago.

Lower oil prices, and falling car prices and accommodation costs - partly due to the soft property market - have been the main drivers behind this two-year bout of negative inflation.

The consumer price index has fallen 0.6 per cent in the January to November period compared with last year.

November's non-negative reading mainly reflected a pick-up in services and food inflation, said the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Trade and Industry Ministry in a joint statement on Friday (Dec 23).

Food inflation edged up to 2 per cent from 1.9 per cent in the previous month, due to a larger increase in the prices of non-cooked food items such as vegetables and fruits.

Overall services inflation also ticked up in November to 1.5 per cent over a year ago. This was due partly to the progressive phasing down of subsidies for MediShield Life premiums, which contributed to the rise in the cost of medical and dental treatment.

These contributed to core inflation - which strips out accommodation and private road transport costs to better gauge everyday expenses - rising to 1.3 per cent in November from October's 1.1 per cent.