Inflation eases to 1.5% in December on lower COE premiums

Singapore's inflation eased to 1.5 per cent in December over the same month last year, down from 2.6 per cent in November, the Department of Statistics said on Thursday. -- ST FILE PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Singapore's inflation eased to 1.5 per cent in December over the same month last year, down from 2.6 per cent in November, the Department of Statistics said on Thursday. -- ST FILE PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

Singapore's inflation eased to 1.5 per cent in December over the same month last year, down from 2.6 per cent in November, the Department of Statistics said on Thursday.

The slower rate of increase was due mainly to a decline in car prices, said a joint statement from the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Thursday.

Private road transport costs decreased by 2.8 per cent in December, following the 3.4 per cent rise in November, as a result of lower Certificate of Entitlement (COE) premiums.

Accommodation costs rose by 2.9 per cent compared to the 3.3 per cent increase in the November, as housing rentals went up at a slower pace.

Food inflation inched up to 2.7 per cent from 2.6 per cent in November due to higher prices of non-cooked food.

Services inflation was stable at 2.8 per cent, as increases in the cost of holiday travel and household services were offset by higher telecommunications and medical treatment costs.

The MAS also said its measure of core inflation, which excludes accommodation and private road transport costs, slipped to 2 per cent in December from 2.1 per cent in November. This was because of cheaper retail items such as clothing & footwear.

For the whole of last year, prices rose 2.4 per cent across the economy, significantly lower than the 4.6 per cent inflation in 2012, the statistics department said.

Core inflation came in at 1.7 per cent for last year, down from 2.5 per cent in 2012.

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