Consumer prices in Singapore rose just 0.4 per cent in February over a year ago, down from 1.4 per cent in January and the smallest increase since January 2010.
The inflation figure was even lower than economists' expectations of a 1 per cent rise. It was dampened by a fall in the prices of transport, clothing and footwear, and communications, according to data released by the Singapore Department of Statistics on Monday.
Private road transport costs sank 7.1 per cent in February after falling 3.5 per cent in January. This was mainly due to a high base last year, when Certificate of Entitlement premiums surged, as well as a dip in petrol pump prices this year, said the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
But these falling prices were partly offset by the rising costs of health care, food, housing and education and stationery.
Core inflation, which excludes the costs of private road transport and accommodation, rose 1.6 per cent in February from the previous year.
This was lower than the 2.2 per cent increase in January and arose from a smaller increase in food and services costs, said the MTI and MAS.
Food inflation edged down to 2.3 per cent in February from 3 per cent in January, as the effects from pricier food during Chinese New Year in January faded.
Services fees also grew at a more moderate pace of 2.1 per cent in February over the year before, down from 2.9 per cent in January.
Compared with January, overall inflation fell 0.1 per cent in February while core inflation dipped 0.2 per cent.