Singapore inflation inches up to 2% in August

 HDB flats in Punggol. Inflation in Singapore inched up to 2 per cent last month from 1.9 per cent in July, mainly owing to higher prices for housing, services and food. -- ST FILE PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA
 HDB flats in Punggol. Inflation in Singapore inched up to 2 per cent last month from 1.9 per cent in July, mainly owing to higher prices for housing, services and food. -- ST FILE PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA

Inflation in Singapore inched up to 2 per cent last month from 1.9 per cent in July, mainly owing to higher prices for housing, services and food.

Accommodation costs rose 4.2 per cent in August over a year ago, more than the 2.6 per cent in July, data from the Singapore Department of Statistics showed on Monday. Consumers had enjoyed a lower rise in costs in July because Housing Board households had received rebates for service and conservancy charges.

Services inflation also increased to 2.7 per cent in August from 2.5 per cent in July. This was led by a bigger rise in cable TV charges and tertiary education fees, according to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Trade and Industry Ministry (MTI).

Consumers also paid more for food. Food prices rose 2.4 per cent in August over the same month a year ago, up from 2.1 per cent in July, largely due to more expensive hawker and restaurant meals.

But lower car prices helped keep overall inflation relatively tame. The cost of private road transport inched up 0.1 per cent in August over a year ago, a large drop from the 2 per cent increase in July.

This was on the back of lower car prices and a more "moderate" rise in petrol pump prices, said the MAS and MTI.

MAS' measure of core inflation, which excludes accommodation and private road transport prices, rose to 1.8 per cent last month from 1.6 per cent in July.