Core inflation eases to 1.4% in March
Core inflation eased last month after smaller rises in the cost of retail items, as well as electricity and gas, more than offset higher services and food inflation, according to data released yesterday.
Core inflation, which strips out private transport and accommodation costs, eased to 1.4 per cent year on year, just under the 1.5 per cent in February. Overall inflation rose to 0.6 per cent compared with March last year, up from the 0.5 per cent in February.
These were lower than expected, with analysts polled by Bloomberg predicting 1.7 per cent for core inflation and 0.7 per cent for overall inflation.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry and Monetary Authority of Singapore have revised the forecast for core inflation to 1 per cent to 2 per cent this year, down from 1.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent previously.
The revision reflects the fall in global oil prices late last year and a sharper-than-anticipated decline in electricity prices after the roll-out of the Open Electricity Market.
The overall cost of retail items last month inched up 0.1 per cent year on year, lower than the 1.1 per cent increase in February.
Electricity and gas prices rose 3.9 per cent compared with March last year, lower than the 5.5 per cent increase in February.
Food inflation came in at 1.6 per cent year on year last month, up from 1.4 per cent in February. Services inflation hit 1.7 per cent year on year from 1.5 per cent in February.
Private road transport costs dipped by 0.9 per cent, less than February's 2.3 per cent decrease.
Accommodation costs fell at a more moderate pace, down 1.4 per cent year on year last month compared with the 1.6 per cent dip in February as the decline in housing rents eased.