Retiree households saw sharpest fall in consumer prices in 2015

Consumer prices for retiree households fell by 2 per cent.
Consumer prices for retiree households fell by 2 per cent. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Retiree households experienced the largest decline in consumer prices last year, compared with other income groups in Singapore, the Department of Statistics Singapore said on Tuesday (Nov 29).

Consumer prices for retiree households fell by 2 per cent, mainly due to lower accommodation and healthcare services costs, which make up a larger share of their expenditure basket.

The fall in healthcare services costs reflected the various government subsidies for healthcare services, including subsidies for Pioneer Generation members and support for Medishield Life premiums.

Consumer prices for general households slipped 0.5 per cent last year. Households in the bottom 20 per cent of incomes saw prices fall 1.1 per cent, while middle-income households saw prices decline 0.3 per cent and the highest 20 per cent of households by income enjoyed a 0.7 per cent decrease in prices.

Overall, the consumer price index has fallen 0.7 per cent in the January to October period compared with last year. Lower oil prices and falling car prices and accommodation costs - partly due to the soft property market - have been the main drivers behind a two-year bout of negative inflation.

Excluding imputed rentals on owner-occupied accommodation, which do not involve actual cash expenditure for households who own their homes, the consumer price index for retiree households fell by 1.4 per cent last year, which was still the largest decline among all household types.

From 2009 to 2014, the annual headline inflation rate for retiree households generally fell within the range of the inflation rates experienced by general households and those in different income groups.

The exception was in 2010 when the retiree households' inflation rate was the lowest among all the household types, at 2 per cent.